Skip to main content

Full text of "The dawn of European civilization"

See other formats





















\_All rights reserved] 


THIS inquiry into the social, mental and religious evolution 
of early Europe owes its origin to an accident. 

Although the subject has always possessed a certain 
charm for my mind, this book is directly due to an 
invitation which I received some years ago to read a 
paper before a scientific society. Upon that occasion I 
put together some notes on parallels presented by certain 
phases of the growth of thought in India, Greece and 
Italy. The late Professor Max Muller, who presided, had 
previously taken an interest in the subject proposed, and 
at the time expressed approval of the way in which it 
was treated. Professor Heinrich Stein, the well-known 
Continental scholar, and the late Dr. Cornelis P. Tiele, 
Professor of the history of religions in the University of 
Leyden, who saw the essay in print, also endorsed the 
views advanced, while friends in England whose opinions 
command consideration suggested that the paper might 
with advantage be expanded into a book. Since then 
I have followed up this line of research from time to 
time, in the face of formidable difficulties, chiefly from 
want of convenient access to a well-equipped library. 

Meanwhile circumstances, entirely independent of this 
pursuit, led me to explore some Slavonic languages and 
institutions ; the results added a zest to my investigation 
in this department of thought. For, as I proceeded, I 
found that the ideas and beliefs of the Slavs threw a 
flood of light upon some points which were otherwise 


It is needless to mention that a work of so wide a range 
and so abstruse a nature could not have been attempted 
without calling into requisition the testimony and making 
use of the conclusions of others who have dealt with 
kindred topics. Accordingly I subjoin * a list of authorities 
whom I have consulted, besides the three scholars to whom 
I have already referred. The following are of the number : 

Dr. Victor Hehn, formerly of St. Petersburg, laid me 
under special obligations. His work Die Kulturpflanzen und 
Haustiere first introduced me to this fascinating field, and 
his sketches entitled De moribus Ruthenorum, which show 
a keen insight into Russian modes of thought and seize 
salient characteristics of the Slav in a striking manner, were 
of the greatest value. Professor B. W. Leist's learned 
treatises, Grcecoitalische Rechtsgeschichte, Altarisches Jus 
Gentium, and Altarisches Jus Civile, are invaluable to the 
student of Indian, Greek, and Roman society in its legal 
aspect. Dr. Otto Schrader's works require no recommenda- 
tion ; they proved of the utmost service to me. His earlier 
book, Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte, is a veritable 
thesaurus for the philologist, and his more recent work 
Reallexikon der indogermanischen Altertumskunde is a mine 
of information which will in future be indispensable to 
students of the earlier epochs of our civilization. 

My acknowledgments are gladly offered to my former 
colleagues, the Rev. G. Chatterton Richards, Fellow and 
Tutor of Oriel College, Oxford, for several interesting 
and important suggestions, to Professors Parker and 
Arnold, of the University College of South Wales and 
Monmouthshire, for their opinion on some points, and 
to the Rev. E. Williamson Harradine for his ready 
and constant help in revising the proof sheets. 

May iqth, 1903. 

* P- 535- 



I. INTRODUCTORY . . * . . . . i 



IV. ENVIRONMENT .. . - . . ; . 34 


VALUE . . ( , .62 





J ' * 


XII. MARRIAGE . . . ... . . .139 













XXV. LAW t . . . . . . . . . 328 




XXIX. COMMERCE . . . . . . . 406 







INDEX .-539 




THE position occupied by Greece and Italy in human 
history has invested these two countries with a kind of j 
glamour, and given them a prominence which is shared by c^ 
no other branch of the human race except the Hebrew, the tion - 
third nation which has written its name in large letters 
on the book of civilization. For in these two countries 
the culture of Pagan antiquity culminated. The brilliant 
achievements of the intellect in the one, and the triumphs 
of organization in the other are without a parallel. They 
produced, each in its own way, an ineffaceable impression on 
their contemporaries, and have exerted a far-reaching in- 
fluence on the mind of man. Their peculiar situation offered 
stepping-stones, as it were, between two continents, and 
formed meeting-points for the civilization of the East and 
the West. In short, they rendered enduring services to 
mankind in general by saving Europe from remaining a 
dreary wilderness, and from becoming a second Asia, J*ot a^ 
stagnant and unprogressive. All these considerations con- creation, 
cur to surround the history of Greece and Rome with an 
imperishable interest, and to lend them an unapproachable 
grandeur. To those, therefore, who are fascinated by the 
spell that attends the history and the very names of Greece 
and Italy the races which inhabited these lands would, at 
first sight, seem to have enjoyed some special privilege, and 



to have been exempted from the ordinary laws of human 
progress. They appear to have sprung up fully equipped, 
like the warriors of Cadmean Thebes, from the furrows 
sown with the fabulous dragon's teeth, or as Athene was 
said in the Greek myth, to have darted, lance in hand and 
in full panoply, out of the head of Zeus. Such an erro- 
neous idea underlies a work like Count Gobineau's " Essai 
sur Finegalite des races humaines"^ and detracts from the 
value of a treatise which otherwise is instructive and 
illuminating. In this work the author ascribes to the 
forefathers of the Greeks and Italians the character of 
pioneers of civilization, which rightly belongs only to the 
Athens of Pericles, or to the Rome of Caesar. The pre- 
Slntific vailing system of studying the classics for the sake of their 
thl ue f philosophical, literary and artistic interest has also con- 
aSr?. 1 tributed to the same misconception. It has obscured the 
fact that the high standard of culture attained during the 
golden ages of Greek and Roman civilization was reached 
Svfiization ^v a slow but steady and orderly progress. The truth is, 
and itafy ^ a ^ *^ s high, standard of culture was the acme of a gradual 
of detetop- process of evolution from an original barbarism, out of which 
ment. ^ Q Greek and Italian races emerged, thanks to the natural 
qualities with which they started in the race of humanity. 
The original level of culture from which the earliest Greeks 
and Italians rose, whether material, social, moral or religious, 
stood but little, if at all, above that of many savage races of 
to-day. Nations are not born, but rise to high estate. 

It is impossible to consider the development of these two 

theYtudy 1 P e P^ es without being struck by its scientific interest. The 

history of both offers a rich field for the study of the growth 

of institutions, and of the workings of the mind of man in 

doesnot w *^ e g rev dawn of human history. Yet this way of looking 

tSSJ ir at tnem need not diminish their interest or detract from 

dignity, their greatness, nor lessen our admiration for the products of 

the Greek or Italian mind ; for, according to the well known 

* Paris, 1853-5. 


principle laid down by Aristotle once for all, " The true 
nature of a thing is whatsoever it becomes when the process 
of its development is complete." 

It will be my purpose in this chapter to point out the 
place which such inquiries as the one on which we are 
engaged occupy in the thought of the present day. 

The gradual growth of the civilization to which we have al- 
ready referred did not escape the observation of Greek writers. 
True, the poets both of Greece and Italy have depicted a 
Saturnian age, which was characterized by peace and plenty. 
The following picture of that period is drawn by Hesiod : 

Xpv&tov fj-v TrpomoTo, yevos /xepoTrwv a.v6p<anr(av irofycrav 'OAv/u,7ria Sw/txar* 
ol /JLV ri Kpdvov r)aav or ovpavuj 
wore 0coi 8* ea>ov aKrjBca Ovpov I^ 
voafyw are/) re TTOVWV KCU 6i'vos' ov8e TI SeiAoi/ 1 
yr/pas ctrfjv aiet 8e rrdSas Kal ^etpas o/xotoi 
TcpTroi/T* fv OaXirfO'i K.O.KWV (.KrovOtv aTrdvriav' 
6vr)o~Kov 8' a>s vTTva) SeS/x^/xxyoi* r#Aa Se iravra. 
rolariv IT/I/' Kapirbv 5* </>epe ^ei'Scupo? apovpa 
avTOfj.drr) TTO\\OV re Kat a<f>0ovov' OL 8' 

But in the light of modern science these idyllic pictures 
must be dismissed as the creations of a poetic fancy. 2 Nor 

1 Works and Days, 109. " First of all the immortals holding the 
mansions of Olympus made a golden race of speaking men. They lived 
in the time of Cronos when he ruled in heaven. And like the gods 
they were wont to live possessing their souls in peace, removed and 
aloof from labours and trouble : nor was wretched old age at all upon 
them, but, ever the same in hands and feet, they delighted in festivals, 
out of the reach of all ills : and they died, as if overcome by sleep ; 
all blessings were theirs ; of its own will earth, the grain-giver, would 
bear them fruit, much and ample : and they gladly used to reap the 
labours of their hands in quietness along with many good things, being 
rich in flocks, and beloved by the blessed gods." Cf. Vergil., Georg. i. 125, 
ii. 500, and Tibullus iii. 35. The pre-existence of a golden age and its 
restoration is a tradition common to Semitic and Aryan races. The 
national poet of Rome seized and turned it to his own use, as an adroit 
compliment to his patron, Pollio : see Eclogue iv. 4. 

Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas, 
Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. 
Iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna. 

* " Historical investigation, however far it is advanced, has come no 
nearer the discovery of the existence on earth of an ideal primitive state, 


need much more credence be attached to the revival of this 
theory in more modern times and in another form by 
Rousseau, who regarded the advance of man from " the 
state of nature " as a conscious and voluntary step taken in 
order to " put his person and his power under the superior 
direction of the general will." Nor, in view of evolutionary 
science, can we admit without reserve the later development 
of the same hypothesis which makes man " submit to 
political subordination through experiences of the increased 
Their satisfaction derived under it." 1 Rather, human advancement 
baftariam has been at once inevitable and involuntary, and too often 
suffering has been the condition of progress. The account 
Horace, given by Horace, 3 founded on the Epicurean cosmogony, 
comes nearer to the truth. He thus describes the first state 
of man and the origin of law : 

" Cum prorepserunt primis animalia terris, 
Mutum et turpe pecus, glandem atque cubilia propter 
Unguibus et pugnis, dein fustibus, atque ita porro 
Pugnabant armis, quae post fabricaverat usus, 
Donee verba, quibus voces sensusque notarent, 
Nominaque invenere ; dehinc absistere bello, 
Oppida coeperunt munire et ponere leges, 
Ne quis fur esset, neu latro, neu quis adulter." 3 

Lucretius. Lucretius in a powerful passage speaks to the same 
purpose. The poet has been describing how at first the 

and has in fact left it hardly disputable that our civilization must have 
grown up from simple and indigenous beginnings, along the path of a 
gradual and much interrupted development. Such an admission, 
however, does not exclude supernatural beginnings, only that in the 
place of an ideal condition of primitive men there would have to be 
substituted the thought of a divine education by which men's natural 
powers would have been guided up to a point at which the species had 
become capable of its own further development." Lotze, Microcosmus 
(Hamilton and Jones), vol. ii., pp. 179, 180. 

1 H. Spencer, Data of Ethics. Cf. Kidd, Social Evolution, p. 45. 

2 Satires i. 3, 99. 

3 " When men like animals crawled forth upon the early earth, as dumb 
and low as brute beasts, for acorns and beds of leaves they used to fight 
with nails and fists, and presently with clubs, and so in order of time 
with the arms that necessity invented, until they discovered words and 
names to express their utterances and feelings ; afterwards they began 
to desist from war, to fortify towns and enact laws against theft and 
robbery and adultery." (LONSDALE AND LEE, transl) 


whole earth was clad with bright verdure, and then how 
trees rapidly sprang up. He proceeds: 

" Sic nova turn tellus herbas, virgultaque, primum 
Substulit ; inde loci mortalia corda creavit 
Multa, modis multis, varia ratione, coorta. 
Nam neque de caelo cecidisse animalia possunt, 
Nee terrestria de salsis exisse lacunis. 
Linquitur, ut merito maternum nomen adepta 
Terra sit, e terra quoniam sunt cuncta creata." 1 

Thucydides with his usual penetration bears testimony in 
the following passage to the lawlessness and violence that 
prevailed in the early ages of Greece : 

Trcura yap rj 'EAAas co-iSv/po^opei Sta ras a<f>paLKTows T oiK77<ms KOL 
OVK da^aAct? Trap* dAAr/Aovs </>d8ovs, Kai ^vvrjOrj rrjv Stairav /xefl* OTT\WV 
eTroojo-ai/TO wcTTrep ol jSdpfiapoi. Sry/xctov 8* eori ravra T^S 'EAAaSos eri 
OVTW i/e/u,o/xva raiv TTOTC Kai es irdvras o/Wcov SiatTr/^aTwv. 2 

Aristotle, 3 in like manner, adduces evidence of the primitive Aristotle. 
character of the early institutions of Greece : 

o T yap 01 "EXAiyves, Kai ras ywatKas ecoi/ovi/TO Trap* 

To the above testimony may be added the opinion of a 
later writer of the School of Euripides : 5 

8* dva/xi Kai SiaTrrv^o) Aoyw 


rjv yap TTOT aiov Kei/os, y 

Siatras &\ov e/x^epcts /?poroi, 

1 V. 790. " Thus the new earth then first put forth grass and bushes, 
and next gave birth to the race of mortal creatures, springing up 
many in number, in many ways, after divers fashions. For no living 
creatures can have dropped from heaven, nor can those belonging to the 
land have come out of the salt-pools. It follows that with good reason, 
the earth has gotten the name of mother, since all things have been 
produced out of the earth." (MuNRO, transl.) Cf. Critias, Ed. Bach, 
p. 56 ; Moschion in Stob. Eel. Ph. i., p. 240. 

- I. vi. cf. v. " For in ancient times all Hellenes carried weapons because 
their homes were undefended and intercourse was unsafe ; like the Bar- 
barians, they went armed in their every-day life. And the continuance 
of the custom in certain parts of the country proves that it once prevailed 
everywhere ." (JoWETT, transl.} 

3 Politics, ii. 8, p. 1268, b. 39. He is dealing with arguments for and 
against altering ancestral laws and customs. 

4 "For instance, the Greeks always carried daggers, and purchased 
their wives from one another." Cf. Plato, Laws 677-680. 

* Moschionis Fragm. vi. 9, preserved in Stob. Eel. Ph. i. 9, 38, Cf. also 
Augustine, De Civ. Dei xviii. 9. 


opetyevry oTT^Xaia KCU Svcn/Xtovs 
<apayyas evvaiovres 1 ovScVw yap ? 
OVT (rreyijpiys OIKOS OUTC XaiVois 
evpaa Trvpyois w\vp^fifVJ) TroXis. 
/Jopai Se <7apKopwTs aXXijXoKToVous 
avTOts 7raplx ov Sacra?' 5" <*' f /" v 
Taireii/oc, ^ J3ia Se owflpovos Alt', 
6 8' do-tfevis ?v TU>V 

This view xhis view of the early history of Greeks and Italians, 
Scientific. namely, that they did not at once spring into the fulness of 
their being from the bosom of the earth, but emerged slowly 
and laboriously from a state of savagery, is also in accord- 
ance with the tendency of scientific thought at the present 
day. Throughout the whirl of modern theories one idea has 
steadily gained ground ; a belief in the continuity running 
The theory through nature, including man as an integral part of it. An in- 
Evoiution. q u i r y such as the one upon which we are engaged attaches itself 
to this general system of Evolution. It is now forty-three 
years since Darwin published his epoch-making book, " The 
Origin of Species by Natural Selection," not altogether 
excluding, however, the operation of Lamarckism, 3 and other 
workers in the same field have pushed their conclusions still 
further. Wallace gives his unqualified adhesion to the 
principle of Natural Selection. Weismann carries Natural 
Selection into the parts of the individual and even into the 
ultimate vital units. But, however that may be and 
admittedly the theory of Natural Selection is at present 

" First I will retrace and unfold in words the beginning and founda- 
tion of the life of mortals. For that was the bygone age, yes, when 
mortals lived like wild beasts, inhabiting mountain caverns and sunless 
ravines, since as yet there was no roofed house nor wide city fortified 
with stone towers. But by slaying one another they furnished feasts of 
flesh. The law was of small account, violence was the companion of Zeus' 
throne, and the weak was the food of the stronger." 

2 Lamarck assumed the evolution of new forms to be due largely to 
the direct action of the conditions of life (e.g. climate, food, nature of 
country), and still more, to the use and disuse of organs (e.g. the length 
of the giraffe's neck, the disappearance of hind limbs in snakes and 
whales). Thus he believed in the inheritance of bodily characters 
acquired in the lifetime of the individual. The other view is that nothing 
which does not affect the germ from which the new individual arises can 
be inherited by him. 


undergoing modification the Doctrine of Evolution, 
primarily applied to Natural Science, and afterwards to 
other departments of knowledge, has exerted a profound 
influence on human thought. The recognition of the 
principle of Evolution has afforded an incalculable impulse 
to a wider range of studies. It has raised Biology to the 
first rank in the encyclopaedia of knowledge, and has exerted 
a proportionate influence even upon those sciences which 
are less closely connected with it. 1 

The orderly progress of society by a slow and not seldom The 
painful progress may, then, be regarded as established. But thought 
inasmuch as this principle has an important bearing upon gradual, 
the subject in hand, it may be well to point out that the 
relation which Evolution bears to the growth of civilization 
is threefold : This tendency in the Divine economy of material 
the universe is distinctly discernible in the growth of the univeree - 
body of our planet. For example, the formation of metals JjJPJ r ~ f 
in the earth through ages and ages beyond human concep- stru sas 
tion profoundly affects the growth of culture. For by iturc { 
testing and taxing the latent powers, by awakening the 
dormant faculties of the mind, metals became important 
instruments for furthering the intellectual advancement of 

The same remark holds good of the rise of the arts, that industries. 
is, of the appliances which help to embellish and ennoble 
life. It is to the stress and strain of circumstances that the 
simplest arts of life owe their origin, and they have attained 
to perfection only by a slow but sure growth, by a steady 
evolution, as, for example, the repeating rifle evolved from 
the bow and arrows of the savage, the exquisite statue from 

1 "The Doctrine of Evolution has for its subject matter the entire 
cosmic process, from nebular condensation down to the development ot 
picture -records into written language, or the formation of local dialects ; 
and its general result is to show that all the minor transformations in 
their infinite varieties are parts of the one vast transformation, and 
display throughout the same law and cause that the Infinite and Eternal 
Energy has manifested itself everywhere, and always in modes ever 
unlike in results but ever like in principle." Herbert Spencer, Nineteenth 
Century, November, 1895, p. 757. 


the rude fetish stone, the nation from the horde. 1 But 
more germane to our present purpose are the evidences of 
the development of the intellectual powers of the mind of 
man by a similarly slow process. This, too, is a canon of 
modern science. As the material world is the result of a 
long and deliberate process and of unbroken gradation, so 
in like manner the immaterial exhibits the same primordial 
law of gradual progress. 2 

There is another consideration which must not be left out 
progress. o f s ight. Antecedently it would be natural to expect that 
the progress of man's spiritual nature would proceed on the 
same general lines. This is borne out by facts. That this 
view is also in harmony with the teaching of Christian Reve- 
lation is recognized by theological thinkers of to-day. 3 For 
Religion will welcome sound evidence of whatever nature it 
may be, from whatever source it may emanate, by whatever 

1 Cf. A. Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion, i., p. 27. 

2 "As there is an anatomy of the body, so there is an anatomy of the 
mind ; the psychologist dissects mental phenomena into elementary 
states of consciousness, as the anatomist resolves limbs into tissues, and 
tissues into cells. The one traces the development of complex organs 
from simple rudiments ; the other follows the building up of complex 
conceptions out of simpler constituents of thought. As the physiologist 
inquires into the way in which the so-called ' functions ' of the body are 
performed, so the psychologist studies the so-called 'faculties' of the 
mind. Even a cursory attention to the ways and works of the lower 
animals suggests a comparative anatomy and physiology of the mind ; 
and the doctrine of evolution presses for application as much in the one 
field as in the other." Huxley, Hume, p. 50. 

3 Speaking of Evolution, Lotze observes, Microcosmus, vol. i., bk. iii., 
ch. v., pp. 373-374 (trans. Hamilton & Jones) : " If science could make 
all this comprehensible, what more would it have accomplished than to 
have driven back the marvel of immediate creation to an earlier point in 
past time, at which infinite wisdom infused into unsightly chaos the 
boundless capacity for regular development ? By the long array of graded 
stages of evolution, through which it traced the development of the 
chaotic prima materia, it would but have enhanced the splendour and 
variety of scenes in whose outward pomp our admiring fancy could revel, 
but it would have given no more sufficient explanation of the wondrous 
drama as a whole than does that modest belief which cannot conceive of 
living species as coming into being, save by the direct creative will of 
God. A decision about these points, as far as science will ever be able 
to give one, we must quietly wait to receive from its impartial love of 
truth. Whichever way of creation God may have chosen, in none can 
the dependence of the universe on Him become slacker, in none be 
drawn closer." 


channel it may come, since truth can but minister to truth. 
Assuredly it would be strange were any other idea entertained 
in the light of such dicta as the following, which shows that 
Christianity was not preached as an isolated phenomenon : 

HoXvfJLfpUS KO.I TToXvrpOTTWS TToAttt 6 0OS \a\YJ0aS TOIS TrttTpUCTlI/ V 

rots TTpo^wrcus CTT' eavaTwv Tail/ fjfjicptav rovrtav eXaX^o-ev rjfuv eV via) ov Testamen 
HA \ / /i writers, 

(.urjKf K\rjpovofJLOV Travrwv. 1 

To the same purport speaks the philosophic historian of Fathers. 
religion, St. Augustine : 

Res ipsa, quae nunc religio Christiana nuncupatur, erat apud antiques, 
nee defuit ab initio generis humani, quousque ipse Christus veniret in 
carne ; unde vera religio, quae iam erat, coepit appellari Christiana. 2 

He means that natural religion is the basis of Christianity, 
and that Christianity rests on natural religion as a bridge 
rests upon its piers. 

St. Clement, of Alexandria, remarks in the same spirit : 

irdvT<av yap amos TWV xa\wv 6 os, dXXa TOW p.V Kara Trporj- 
yov/xei/ov, ws rfjs re Siafli/K^s r)s TraXaias Kat rijs veas, roiv Se KOT' 
7raKoXov0T//Ma, ws T^S ^iXoao^ias* ra^a Se Kai 7rpor^yovftei/o)5 rots 
"RXXrjaiv eBoOtfj TOT* irpiv r) rov Kvptov KaXetrat Kat TOVS EXX;vas. 
'ETrcuSaywyei yap icai avrrj TO 'EXXTyviKov ws 6 vo/xos TOVS 'E/Jpaibvs eis 
XpwrToi/. 7rpo7rapa(7Kva^t TOIVVV rj ^tXocro^ia TrpooSoTroiovtra TOV VTTO 

1 u/>. /<? the Hebrews i. i. " God, having of old time spoken unto the 
fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at 
the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir 
of all things" (R.V.). Cf. Acts xvii. 22-30. 

2 Retract i. 13. " What is now called the Christian religion existed among 
the ancients, and was not absent from the beginningof the human race, until 
Christ Himself came in the flesh ; from which time the true religion, which 
existed already, began to be called Christian." Cf. De Bapt. C.D. vi. 44. 

3 Clem. Alex., Strom, i., c. v., 28. "God is the cause of all that is 
good ; only of some good gifts He is the primary cause, as of the Old and 
New Testaments, of others the secondary, as of (Greek) philosophy. But 
even philosophy may have been given primarily by Him to the Greeks, 
before the Lord had called the Greeks also. For that philosophy, like a 
schoolmaster, has guided the Greeks also, as the Lord did Israel, toward 
Christ. Philosophy, therefore, prepares and opens the way to those who 
are made perfect by Christ." Cf. vi., c. v., 42. 

" Wenn die Weltgeschichte nicht der Menschen Werk, sondern Gottes 
durch die Menschen ist, und ein allmiichtiger Wille das Ganze ordnet ; 
wenn, wie der philosoph (Aristotle) lehrt, das der Geburt nach Spatere 
der Idee und Substanz nach das FrUhere uncl alles Werclen um des 
Endzweckes willen ist, und der am Ende offenbarte Wille von Anfang 
her der bewegende war : so kann die gesammte Vergangenheit ihrer 


Thus not only do unity and harmony pervade the whole 
of the physical universe, but this continuity extends to the 
mental and moral nature of man as well. 

though? 8 Religion, therefore, is organic. Ever expanding in volume, 
Pj res ' ever increasing in vitality, it rises from simple and rude 
beginnings. In its successive stages it is adapted to the 
comprehension and suited to the needs of man, as he pro- 
gresses in intelligence and spiritual capacity from the vague 
and inarticulate yearnings : 

Trai/rts OeS)V ^ttreoucr' avOptmroi. 1 

to the full light of a universal religion. 

history 1 ^he ms t rv o f the human race, then, both in regard to 
piog k rcss by ** s material- and its immaterial equipment has, on the whole, 
been marked by a steady advance, as it has toiled up the 
long slope into our view. Not that this advance was in- 
variable, uniform, and universal. Some races have arrived 
at these ends by devious paths, others, as is well-known 
from actual observation in historic times, have remained 
helplessly stationary, others have turned aside or fallen back 
in the march. A presumption, almost amounting to cer- 
tainty, exists, that prehistoric ages witnessed many such 
relapses and instances of degeneration. The reasons for 
moral deterioration and suspension of progress of this kind 
must have been various. What these causes were may be 
conjectured from the history of comparatively modern times. 
In some places the introduction of civilized methods has 
been too sudden; the recipients have not been ripe for 
drastic changes. 2 In other places we meet with degeneracy 

innersten Natur nach nur ein Vorbild, gleichsam eine Vorerscheinung 
der Zukunft sem, die ihr Ziel ist. Die Geschichte aller Volker, die als 
Theile der einen organisch gegliederten Menscheit nur ein Leben leben, 
bildet also eine fortschreitende Reihe, worin das relativ letzte Glied stets 
alle vorhergehenden reassumirt." Lasaulx, Die Suhnopfer, Wurzburg, 
1841, p. i. 

Homer, Odyss., iii. 48. " All men feel a need of gods." 

To understand such decline of culture it must be borne in mind that 
the highest arts and the most elaborate arrangements of society do not 
always prevail ; in fact, they may be too perfect to hold their ground, for 
people must have what fits with their circumstances." Tylor, Anthro- 
pology, 1 88 1, pp. 1 8, 19. Cf. Lotze, Microcosmus,\o\. ii. } p. 205. 


due to intermarriage with previous strata of population. 1 
In others emigration or war or some public distress has 
occasioned relapse. But instances of retrogression are ex- 
ceptions to the rule. Taken altogether, in spite of occasional 
or temporary pauses, deviations and relapses, the human 
race has advanced from point to point, from precedent to 
precedent ; indeed, the great drama is still unfolding itself 
in an equable and majestic evolution. 

1 The history of the Portuguese in the East Indies affords an illustra- 
tion in point. 




humai ^ HE ten dency f tne human race, as we have seen, is, on 
racThL the whole, to progress. The most singular feature of this 

progressed . -111 j 

on the progress is, that in spite of divergencies, drawbacks and 

general distances separating the several branches of mankind from 

each other, they have followed a parallel course of social 

development, and that some of their chief spiritual concep- 

HOW their tions coincide. This is eminently true of Greece and Italy. 

s p ecial ..... 

character- Each, as known to us in historic times, possesses features and 

istics were ' r 

developed, faculties proper to itself. But the Greek and Italic races were 
more closely akin to each other than other branches of the 
Aryan 1 family, and maintained throughout their history a 

Jt h wo a rk torB mucn more intimate connection. Where the original materials 
were so similar, the differences of subsequent development 
must have resulted from some historic causes. To what, 
then, are we to ascribe the individuality of the one and the 
other ? The answer to this question is complex ; several 
causes must have co-operated to produce this result. 

Tn^owV Among the factors at work, one of the most important is 

ment. natural endowment. But here we are met with a direct 
denial. It has been the fashion in certain schools of thought 
to deny almost altogether the existence of this original 
endowment. Under the influence of Darwin's teaching, 
analogies have been drawn from the experience of animals 

1 The term d'rya-, according to the soundest view, held by Btfhtlingk- 
Roth, Zimmer and other unimpeachable authorities, is a derivative from 
aryd-, "friendly," "true," "honest," and is consequently used as a 
designation of friends. The correlative is ddsd~, a term applied to the 
subject population. 


which in the course of generations, owing to the action of 
natural selection and to the gradual rejection of the less fit, 
are known to have adapted themselves to their surroundings. 
The mammoth in the ice age by a gradual process of 
selection and elimination accommodated itself to the rigours 
of the elements by cultivating a coat of thick fur. The 
polar bear suits his colour to the Arctic snows. Many 
insects assimilate themselves to branch or leaf for the 
purpose of attack or defence. But Evolution assumes the 
existence of a disposition, a capacity, or genius, whether of a 
race or of an individual. This applies forcibly to the Aryan. Sent velop 
Although at his first appearance on the scene the Aryan 
brought with him but little culture, yet he was already at 
that early time in possession of an exceptional mental outfit. 
His slumbering instincts for culture were awakened and 
called into existence by the struggle for supremacy, a 
struggle out of which, though for a time checked and 
worsted, he emerged in the end triumphant. But the 
distinguishing qualities of the Greek and Roman alike were ti 
as yet only in the germ. How the Greek came to develop 
the sense of the beautiful in such an eminent degree, how 
the Roman was led to cultivate the arts of war, statesman- 
ship and government with so much success, these are the 
questions which we shall attempt to answer in the course of 
our inquiry. 

Assuming that the several races started with the possession 
of common natural gifts, which " the heavenly gods have assumed 68 
given to mortals," we are led on to inquire into the im- here - 
mediate causes of the differentiation in the case of Greek 
and Italian. It will help us to a better understanding of 
these causes if we try to picture to ourselves the typical JJJ"' n 
Aryan who stood out in such strong relief above neighbour- The typical 
ing races. To adopt the reasonable opinion advanced by Dr. A 
Penka in his Origines Ariacae 1 and Die Herkunftder Aritr? conclu- 

sions as to 

it appears probable that the most typical representative their 


Vienna, 1883. 2 Ibid., 1886. 


The Teuto- of the ancient Aryan now to be found in Europe is what 
via a n n t d ype.~ the author calls Teuto-Scandinavian (Germanisch-Skan- 
dinavisch). 1 

The multitudinous North has from time immemorial been 
the region whence rude races have poured down upon 
Southern Europe. That the ancestors of the special type of 
race commonly called Aryan hailed from the North was the 
accepted belief from a very early time. The passage in 
Jordanis is well known : 

Testimony EX hac igitur Scandza insula, quasi officina gentium, aut certe velut 
tomans. vagina nationum, cum rege suo Berig, Gothi quondam memorantur 
egressi. 2 

In like manner Florus speaks of the Gauls :- 

Hi quondam ab ultimis terrarum oris, cum cingerentur omnia Oceano, 
ingenti agmine profecti . . . positis inter Alpes et Padum sedibus. . . . 3 . 

Physical We pass on to consider their physical qualities. The 
evidence by which we may try to form some idea of the 

1 Of races existing at the present day, the Germans are supposed to 
be the best type of the Teutonic races, the Norwegians and Swedes of 
the Scandinavian. 

It is no part of our purpose to enter into the wider question involved 
in the various theories concerning the relations between Africa and 
Europe, which have recently come into notice. The main point may, 
however, be briefly indicated. It is now generally accepted by anthro- 
pologists that the White Race, including the Aryans, among whom the 
highest civilizations of the world sprang up, are the true product of 
Eurafrica, namely, the region bounded by the Atlantic; and Indian 
Oceans, the Sahara, and the Baltic. This must have been before the two 
continents were severed, Spain from North Morocco and Sicily from 
Tunis. Professor Sergi, of Rome, has gone further and refined upon 
this view. He distinguishes a race, with a darker complexion and 
dolichocephalic skulls, which extended over the whole of North Africa, 
the Mediterranean basin, and Southern Europe. The reader is referred 
to his recent work, The Mediterranean Race, 1901. 

2 Jordanis, De Getarum sive Gothorum origine et rebus gestis (A.D. 552) 
c. iv., C. A. Gloss, Stuttgart, 1861. " It was from this island Scandza, 
which we may call the manufactory of nations, or at all events the womb 
(cf. Plautus, Ps. 4, 7, 85) of peoples, that the Goths are related to have 
started at one time with their king, Berig." The memorable phrase, 
" officina gentium," was most probably derived from an earlier author. 
Cf. Penka, Die Hcrkunft der Arier, p. 142. 

3 Florus (A.D. 140), Epitome de gestis Romanorum, i. 13. ''These 
formerly starting in a huge army from the uttermost parts of the earth, 
when all things were surrounded by the ocean, settled between the Alps 
and the Po." Cf. Penka, Ori^ines Ariacae^ ch. iii. p. 71. 


personal appearance of the typical Aryan is of two kinds, 
the one supplementary to the other. Anthropologists were 
formerly divided into two camps. Were the original Aryans evidence - 
dolichocephalic or brachycephalic ? The idea is now gain- 
ing ground that no arbitrary line of demarcation can be 
drawn, 1 but, rather, that both types were to be found 
side by side. 2 Dr. Penka and Victor Hehn have shown 
convincingly that climatic conditions had much to do with Hehn - 
the production of the type to which Penka applied the term 

Testimony is forthcoming from another quarter. When ]j^ torical 
the Northern tribes came within the purview of the Romans i 
the Roman historians devoted considerable attention to 
them and recorded their impressions for the benefit of 
posterity. They are nearly unanimous in their descriptions 
of these children of the North. Generally speaking the 
latter are portrayed as huge in frame, light-haired, and lofty 
in stature. The Greeks were equally susceptible to the im- 
pression produced by the Northern races with whom they 
were brought into contact. Such were the Budini, a people 
probably of Slavonic blood, who at an early date attracted 
the notice of the Greek historian Herodotus. They pos- 
sessed striking features : 

Sc, 0vos ov fJLtya KOL TroXXov, yXavKov TC irav tcr^vpw? e'ori 
KO.I irvppov. 3 

1 See an article by R. Virchow in Korrespondenzblatt der deutschen 
Gesellschaft fur Anthropologie, 1883, p. 144. Dr. Schrader cites further 
evidence, ReaUexikon, pp. 460, 461, 896, 897. 

2 F. Ratzel remarks (p. 144) : " Mit dieser Rassenentwicklung die 
tief in eine viele Jahrtausende hinter uns liegende geologische Vergan- 
genheit hineingreift, kann die Ausbreitung der -arischen Sprachen in 
Europa und Asien nur insofern in Verbindung gebracht werden als diese 
Sprachen, als sie sich entvvickelten, die Rassen vorfanden, die im 
quartaren Europa sich festgesetzt hatten. Aus ihnen bildete sich eine 
neue Volkerverwandschaft (viz. Aryan) durch die uralten Prozesse des 
Verkehrs, der Eroberung, der Kolonisation, der Verschmelzung und auch 
der Ausrottung . . . Von einer * arischen Rasse' kann also nicht 
gesprochen werden." 

3 iv. 1 08. "The Budini are a large and powerful nation : they have 
all deep blue eyes, and bright red hair." (RAWUNSON, transl.} 


character The evidence would seem to warrant the attempt to 
Aryan. picture the pure Aryan. He would seem in his main 
lineaments to answer to the following description. Through- 
out early history blonde hair was associated with the Aryan, 
and with this the evidence adduced by Doctor Penka agrees. 
His eye was blue and fierce, 1 and his keenness of vision 
was developed by the surroundings. He had beetling eye- 
brows. 2 He was tall 3 of stature and endowed with a 
powerful frame. 4 Nurtured in a cold climate, where Nature 
was rugged and inhospitable, he was inured to hardship 
from infancy. His freedom from restraint and love of liberty 
made him impatient of life in walled towns. He resorted to 
it only when driven by want of the necessaries of life, and 
abandoned it as soon as he could. War was his life, and in 
a later age his arrival on his terrible errands of death and 
destruction struck terror into the hearts of the Southerner. 
The chase, which was his natural pastime, kept him in constant 
practice in the use of weapons ; he hunted his enemy as he 
stalked the stag, with spear and bow. Did he win a victory 
over his foes ? He celebrated it with orgie and wild revel, his 
adversary's skull supplying him with a drinking-cup. Did 
he settle down to husbandry for a time ? It was only until 
Nature afforded him the means of resuming his wonted 
occupations of war and rapine. His religion was coloured 
by his surroundings. Sometimes he propitiated the various 
gods and goddesses whom he feared with human sacrifice 
or other offerings of an awful nature. These divinities were 

1 The fierceness of the eye may be traced in some degree to his life 
and employments. Cf. V&nbery, Globus, 1870, p. 29, who remarks of 
the Kurds, " Besonders sind es seine Augen, diese ewig funkelnden, auf 
Unheil pder Trug sinnenden Lichter, durch welche er unter hunderten 
von Asiaten erkennbar wird. Es ist merkwiirdig, dass sowohl der 
Beduine, wie der Turkmene durch diese Kennzeichen unter seinen 
ansassigen Stammesgenossen eben so auffallt. Ist es der uniiberwind- 
liche Hass gegen vier Wande oder der grenzenlose Horizont, oder das 
Leben im Freien, welche diesen Glanz in die Augen der Nomaden 
hineinzaubern ? " See also V. Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, p. 50; 

5 Caesar, De Bell. Gall., i. 39. 

3 Livy, xxxviii. 17. De Bell. Gall., ii. 30. 


beautiful spirits or grim powers who haunted the mountain 
or the wave, or lay in ambush in the mist, or lurked in the 
forest. Independence, nobleness, sternness these qualities 
were blended in his character and these he possessed in 
abundance, but he was destitute of the graces and devoid of 
the aesthetic sensibility of the Southerner. Such was the 
typical Aryan as we obtain occasional glimpses of him 
here and there in the pages of the classical historians. JJjj moral 
This impetuous child of the North, endowed as he was 
with an exuberant energy, after settling on the seaboard 
of the Mediterranean, gradually unlearnt his rudeness, 
abated something of his ferocity, and yielded himself to the 
refinements of culture. Though he retained the impress of 
the populations through which he made his way, he still 
preserved his individuality, and is to this day represented in 
the ruling classes of Modern Europe. 1 

It has been seen already that there are reasons for seeking 
the typical Aryan in the North, and for regarding the North 
as his natural home. Greek tradition also points to the 
same region. That nations retain traditions concerning the S!tion 
cradle of their race, and continue to maintain commercial connection 
relations of some kind with the country from which they North! 10 
hail, is well known, and reminiscences of such a nature are 
to be found in Greece. Thus Homer makes his hero 
Odysseus visit the Laestrygones : 

T KO. 

'Fj{3So(JLa.Tr) $ iKo/Acr0a Aa/xov CUTTV 

1 The deterioration of these hardy Northern races on settling in Southern 
countries, and their gradual disappearance in the earlier race which they 
found in possession, may be variously explained. First, it is to be attri- 
buted to climatic conditions. In like manner the Goths and Vandals, 
sweeping into Spain, obtained the mastery. The Gothic and Vandalic 
blood gradually became exhausted. The same experience is repeated in 
the Spanish colonies in America, where the invading race and the women 
of the conquered population have intermarried. Payne, History of the 
New World, called America, vol. i., p. 246, note. But there is another 
law at work. The ruling classes, who remain relatively unmixed, every- 
where tend to die out. Of this tendency, Turkey, India and England 
equally afford examples. Cf. Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, vol. i. 
PP- 397, 405- 


TrjAeVvAov AaurrpvyoviV, oOi Trot/xcVa T 
'HTTVCI cicreAawv, 6 Se r eeAaa>v VTraKov'.^ 
"Ev6a K avTrvos dvr/p Soiovs tfrqpaTO /u<r0ovs, 

'Eyyvs yap WKTOS T icat rj/Aaros wri 

The poet clearly refers to the short nights at midsummer 
in northern latitudes. Nor was he unaware of the long 
gloomy winters of the North : 

'H 8' cs irtlpaB' tKave ftaQvppoov 'QKcavoto. 

*Ev6a $ Ki/*/u,epia>i/ avSp&v 8^/xos re TroAts T, 

'Hepi KOL v<eA}7 KKaXvft/Ai/oi' ovSc TTOT* avrovs 

'HeAios <f>ac6uv KaraSepKcrai aKTiVeo-o-tv, 

Ov0' OTTOT* av <TTeixy (rL ' 7r P* ovpavbv do-Tepocvra, 

Ov^* or' ay a^ eirt yatav UTT' ovpavo^ev irporpaTrr/Tat, 

'AAV eVt vv^ 6Ao^ re'rarat SctAoto-t jSporoto-iv. 2 

The statements of the authors already cited, and the 
vague traditions preserved by Homer are reinforced by Pro- 
fessor Ridgeway in his recent work, The Early Age of Greece. 
Thus, he adduces the familiar fact that the amber discovered 
by Schliemann in the tombs of Mycenae is proved to have 
come from the Baltic. It was brought to Greece and Italy 
by two trade routes which converged on the Adriatic. 3 

1 Od. x. 80. " So for the space of six days we sailed by night and 
day continually, and on the seventh we came to the steep stronghold of 
Lamos, Telepylos of the Laestrygons, where herdsman hails herdsman 
as he drives in his flock, and the other who driveth forth answers the call. 
There might a sleepless man have earned a double wage, the one as a 
neatherd, the other shepherding white flocks ; so near are the outgoings 
of the night and of the day." 

Cf. the description by a modern traveller of the rapid succession of 
day to night at the Murmdnskii Nos. " The sun, which up to midnight 
had been steadily going down, commenced to ascend in the heavens 
again and to begin another day's work without any interval of rest." 
A.^A. Boddy, With Russian Pilgrims, p. 4. 

2 Od. xi. 14. "She came to the limits of the world, to the deep-flowing 
Oceanos. There is the land and the city of the Cimmerians, shrouded in 
mist and cloud, and never does the shining sun look down on them with 
his rays, neither when he climbs up the starry heavens, nor when he again 
turns earthward from the firmament, but deadly night is outspread over 
miserable mortals." The reader hardly needs to be reminded that, 
according to the Homeric notion of geography, Oceanos is a river en- 
circling the earth. 

3 Vol. i. 359. Cf. his interesting remarks on the wanderings of Heracles 
into the far North in search of the Hind with the golden horns, probably 
the female reindeer with antlers. " Mr. Frazer has pointed out to me," 


Nor is this all. The description of the typical Aryan 
which we have given in the preceding pages accords to a 
large extent with the occasional references in Homer to the 
physique and appearance of the ruling classes in prehistoric 
Greece. There is a tendency among all races to associate 
an ideal of beauty and superhuman size with generations 
gone by. To Homer the present generation (olot vvv ftpoToi 
da) cannot compare with their forefathers. 1 His heroes and 
heroines are blonde (%avQoC). Meleager, Menelaus and 
Helen all possess this characteristic. 2 

This accords well with a statement of Adamantius, a ne 

Hebrew physician, who wrote in the fifth century of the Greeks - 
Christian era. 3 The Greeks of " purely Hellenic descent " 
were, he says : 

ai/8ps, evpvrepoi, opOiot, evrrayets, AeuKOTfpot TTJV 

The above account harmonizes with the description of T h J 

in Italy. 

says the author, " a remarkable fact which may be regarded as confirma- 
tory of the view here put forward. In the province of North-East Russia, 
where the people were pagans down to 1 50 years ago, there is still an 
annual celebration known as the ' Feast of the Golden-reindeer horn.' It 
is possible that some faint echo of such a festival had reached Greece 
from the land of the Hyperboreans." There are still pagans in the 
extreme North-East of Russia. Many of the peoples of Northern Russia 
in Europe are Ural Altaic, which raises a presumption against their 
having been for many ages in the same localities. See Safarik, Slavische 
Altertumer: M. von Achsenfeld, Leipzig, 1843, v l- > P; IOI 

1 Cf. Odyss. vii. 59; Id. viii. 223; x. 120; Hesiod. Theog. 147; 
Soph. Trachin. 1075 ; Vergil, dLneid, vi. 582 ; Ovid, Metam. i. 125 ; Id. 
Fast, v. 35 ; Genesis vi. 4. 

8 There are reasons for supposing that the ruling and conquered classes of 
India were similarly distinguished. The former are tfrya-vdma (properly 
signifying colour) and dtf sa-vdrna. From the former arose the rd'jands, 
Schrader, Reallex. 802. It is noteworthy too that Thor in Scandinavian 
legend and Indra in Indian mythology are either blonde or red-haired 
giants. See E. H. Meyer, Germ. Mythologie, p. 205, and Oldenberg, Die 
Religion des Veda, p. 134. Cf. the unearthly visitant in Xerxes' dream, 
Herodot. vii. 12. 

3 Adamantii Sophistae Physiognomicon (Basle, 1544), ii. c. 24, 185. 

" Tall men, rather broad, erect, well-knit, the complexion somewhat 
pale, and the hair yellow." Penka, Origines Ariaca, p. 23, and Die 
Herkunft der Arier, p. 107, calls attention to the survival of these physical 
characteristics in the Sphakians of Crete at the present day. 


prominent men and women in Italy also, such as Sulla and 
Cato the Elder. 1 

The as- The ascendency of the Aryan for centuries after his 

of the nc migration to the South is an indisputable fact. That is not 

all. This fact has a two-fold bearing upon the later 

evolution of the two branches, the Greek and the Italian, 

which were the two chief representatives of the Aryan in 

His crude a f ter a g es . The Aryan doubtless owed his predominance 

and un- . . 

developed i ater j n pre historic and historic times to the innate vigour 

powers . 1*1 

e usVof e which the conditions of his existence in his ancient birth- 
mfnan e c d e" place had accentuated. But when the two branches, the 
app/aVin Greek and the Italian, diverged, the original qualities 
?ti e i"an and remained, or were but slowly metamorphosed, and came 
character. to the sur f ace j n different ways. In Greece the Dorian 
probably retained much of the primitive type, and, as is well 
known, he was distinguished by his warlike habits and 
soldierly qualities. Such is the leading feature of the Doric 
state, Sparta. 

Athens. g u t the Athenian likewise betrayed the features of the 
original Aryan in the restlessness of his intellect, which was 
subtle, acute, and speculative. It was this restlessness which 
in the world of spiritual ideas would people a Pantheon with 
a rich variety of gods and goddesses, and would surround 
Religion, them with a halo of legend and a wealth of fancy, yet would 
end by denying their existence altogether. The same 
tendency is visible in departments of thought other than 
Politics, religion. The impatience of authority and control appears 
in the political history of Athens. The disappearance from 
that city of the old type of king, an institution necessitated 
by a warlike age, dates from a very early time, so early, 
indeed, that his extinction is enveloped in obscurity. Not 
only in the institution and abolition of kings was the 
intellect of Athens first its making and then its unmaking. 
At Sparta itself jealousy of authority dictated the precaution 
of electing two kings. 

1 So too among the Spanish grandees, who derive their sangre azul 
from the Visigoths, fair hair is not uncommon. 


On the other hand, Rome, in its own way, preserved the *JJ* ed 
traits of the Aryan prototype down to the fall of the Empire, 
when the Italian blood was renovated by that of the Gaul tensti . 
and the Goth. Like his Aryan ancestor, who, reared amid 
mountains and morasses on trackless solitudes and bleak table- 
lands, roamed the primeval forests of Central or Northern 
Europe, the Roman too was animated by the spirit of 
enterprise and adventure. Like him he found his natural 
element in war. His inherent vigour and tenacity of 
purpose, his power of endurance, his impetuosity in the 
field, his insatiable ambition for new conquests, his 
unrivalled versatility in accommodating and expanding his 
institutions to suit changed circumstances all these recall 
the qualities that distinguished his forefathers. With this 
equipment the Roman advanced to sovereignty over the 
known world. Undazzled for centuries by the spell that 
poetry and the fine arts had cast upon his Greek and 
Asiatic neighbours, incurious of the mysteries of the 
realms of Nature, the Roman's mission was to subdue the 
earth : 

Hae tibi erunt artes, pacisquenmponere morem 
Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos. 1 

Thus far we have noted the resemblances between the 
two races rather than the divergences. When they 
separated, each began to assume a character of its own, and 
after the lapse of some centuries they had diverged soJj Greek 
widely that the common likeness, derived from their original Italian - 
Aryan ancestor, was hardly recognizable. The two nations 
became distinct, nay, antagonistic, in character and ability. 
The sharply marked contrasts between them might be 
drawn out in detail. They appear to have been most 
pronounced in the spiritual domain. This is natural, for ^ 
in Greece and Italy, as indeed, elsewhere, divergences of matters - 
character betray themselves particularly with regard to 

1 Vergil, &neid vi. 852 : "These shall be- thy arts, to impose the law 
of peace, to spare the vanquished and subdue the proud." 

The Greek spiritual conceptions. One of the most obvious points of 

HifwE ot contrast la y in their ideas of societ y and of their bli g ations 

liiBei as mem bers of the same community. The character of the 
Hellene, as exhibited in the Athenian, was marked by an 
intense individuality, which expressed itself in various ways. 

Greek indi- independence of mind was to him as the breath of life. He 

viduahsm. t-i-iri i i i J / J 

prided himself upon being a child of the soil, 1 old ot race and 
pure in blood. He recognized no bond, claim or influence 
upon him, save a perception and pursuit of the beautiful, a 
fine and delicate taste, a sense of honour, and an elevated, 
aspiring spirit. His model man was in bearing a gentleman, 
Ka\osKaya6d<;, and in physique fine and tall, /ca\b<; ical fieya^.^ 
He regarded a democracy as but the political expression of 
an intellectual isonomy, and the community as existing for 
his sake. The country existed for his city and the city for 
KH?e a f?ace- tne citizen. Not so the Roman. None of his attributes is 
ment. more characteristic than his devotion to the commonweal 
and his fidelity to the father-land. Where the Athenian 
deified the Beautiful he deified Law. He viewed an 
innovator, especially a religious revolutionary, with anything 
but a friendly eye. His ideal citizen was dutiful in his 
conduct towards his father (pius), obedient to his rulers and 
pietas. reverent towards his national deities ; the one word pietas 
summed up his filial respect for his father, his veneration 
for his country's gods, and even the reciprocal regard of gods 
for men. 3 

" Vir bonus est quis ? " asks the poet, 4 and he himself 
supplies the answer: " Qui consulta patrum, qui leges 
iuraque servat." 

With one the race existed for the individual, with the 
other the individual existed for the race. The Athenian's 
watchword was Self, the Roman's Duty. 

1 The early Athenians wore a gold T-TI or cicada in their hair to show 
that they were aboriginal (aiiro^dovcs). 

2 Horn. Od. i. 301, vi. 152. Cf. Aristotle's pcyaXo-^vxos. 

3 Vergil, JEneid ii. 536. Si qua est coelo pietas. 

4 Horace, Epist. i. 16, 41. " Who is the good man ? He who keeps the 
decrees of the Senate, the statutes and laws of the State.'' 


No less marked is the expression of the national mind in 
the national religion. Underneath their points of agreement, Religion, 
such as their common worship of the vivifying powers of 
Nature, there lies an intrinsic contrast between the religious 
systems of the one and the other, in particular conceptions 
as well as in general ideas. The bias of the Greek's mind was 
towards the corporeal, and his facile fancy multiplied anthro- concrete - 
pomorphic forms of the most fantastic description. Some of 
these were rude and repulsive beings, more like the fetishes 
of a Pacific Islander, others grotesque, but, as time went on, 
advancing in artistic quality. Finally they attained to the 
highest sublimity which human skill could contrive or the 
human mind conceive. 

The religion of the Italian was the very opposite of this. J^" 1 ^ 
Unlike the Greek, the Italian felt an instinctive prejudice abstract, 
against clothing his thoughts and feelings in a concrete form. 
The love of abstract conceptions was characteristic of the 
Italian from the outset. From the same abhorrence of a 
sensuous worship the few gods and goddesses whom his 
imagination invested with a bodily form were seldom re- 
presented as married, and were generally childless. The 
very attitudes assumed in prayer by the Greek and the 
Italian were significant. While the Greek looked up to the 
heavens overhead, into the eye of Zeus or Athene, the Roman 
veiled his head (capite obvoluto) in dumb contemplation. 
But if the Italian pantheon is not peopled with such an 
array of deities, if it appeals less to the imagination and is 
not encompassed with such a wealth of imagery as the 
Greek, yet in one respect the Roman religion is richer by 
far. The Italian possessed a remarkable power of inventing 
spirits or numina y beings who inhabited the woods, the world - 
water, and the air, unrepresented by any figures, and un- me d nfa! a ~ 
associated with any fixed shrines. Every phase of human 
life, from his birth to his death, was under the protection or 
patronage of some of these nebulous beings, who guarded 
his person, guided his destinies, and governed his actions. 
The operations of husbandry were the special care of the 


spirits. Did the Italian harrow his field ? His protecting 
numen Occus was at hand. Did he engage in any military 
expedition ? Bellona was there to preside over his enterprise, 
and Mars to go before his armies and prosper his under- 
taking. Did his wife give birth to a child ? Lucina aided 
her in the perils of travail. His child, too, was under the 
protection of numberless numina> such as Educa, Potina, 
Iterduca, who would watch him from his cradle upwards, 
would protect him from all evil and minister to all his wants. 
^ n brief, the Greek religion is marked by personality, 
and?t7iten freedom, and variety, the Italian by abstraction, necessity, 
rehgions. anc j sever ity. In one the image is paramount, in the other 

the idea. 1 

Jfthe auses There must, then, have been some potent forces at work 

difference, to produce these remarkable results. What these exciting 

causes were which gave rise to such momentous changes 

in the temperaments of the two races, we shall proceed to 


1 The same difference exists between the Hindu and Persian religions. 
Cf. Tiele, Geschiedenis van den Godsdiertst, tot aan de heerschatfiij der 
ivereldgodsdiensten, Amsterdam, 1876, {135. 


IT has already been observed that by the time these two 
races were settled on European soil, their character had 
undergone profound modification. But in saying so much 
we have somewhat anticipated and must retrace our steps 
a little. 

The migrations of early races of Europe must have 
exercised a permanent effect upon the formation of national 
character. Though their history during the migratory age 
must be largely a matter of speculation, yet there is some 
evidence which throws light upon that obscure but eventful 
era. We may, in the first place, derive some information 
from certain traits of character which, having survived to survivals - 
later stages of racial development, nevertheless would 
appear to have originated at a time when the races that 
exhibit them had no fixed home, when society was only 
taking shape, and when the institutions of the future were 
as yet only being foreshadowed. These correlated data 
have some weight in helping us to form an idea of the way 
in which these races grew from insignificant beginnings into 
the fulness of their stature and the plenitude of their power. 
Another source of evidence is to be found in the multi- Fi : om . 


tudinous emigration of races at successive periods in historic j 

times, when hordes from the North flooded the moribund times - 
Empire of Rome. Allowance must be made for the changed 
circumstances. Nevertheless, there are many similarities in 
the recorded migrations of Northmen and Lombards, and 
even of Mongols and Tartars, which will assist us in 
realizing the nature of this stage in the transition of the 
Greek and Italic races from infancy to maturity. 

The home To proceed then to the first cause of national charac- 

Aryans. teristics migration. During the last thirty years there has 
been much discussion as to the situation of the cradle of 
Asiatic th e Aryan races. Formerly it was regarded as certain that 

theory. t key proceeded from the table-lands of Central Asia, and 
thence spread over the steppes of Europe. Not only was it 
believed possible to trace the course that they followed, but 
even the precise order in which bodies of men left their 
aboriginal home. The successive contingents were supposed 
to have fallen into their places with military precision. 
?f V com nce These conclusions were based chiefly upon linguistic 
pSfoiogy. grounds, but further inquiry into the structure of the Aryan 
languages and an elimination of loan-words has had the 
result of reducing the common inheritance of words in the 
Aryan vocabulary to smaller dimensions. Thus it has been 
shown 1 that of 4280 Greek words, "about 520 are of 
doubtful or unknown origin, about 2180 are derivatives, 
compounds, or by-forms of words, and the remaining 1580 
words have cognates in other Indo-Celtic languages." 
compara - 1 Meanwhile, the development of the Science of Comparative 
relfgion. Religion did much to reverse the view hitherto held 
concerning the origin and inter-relations of the Aryans. 
The Pantheon of gods and goddesses which the undivided 
Aryans were supposed to have possessed in common proved 
to be far smaller than was once imagined. 

in e fe?ot The pendulum swung back. It had been suggested by 
Europe. Latham many years previously that the home of the 
Aryans was to be looked for in Europe rather than in Asia. 
To this view modern scholars, Penka, Hirt, Streitberg, 
Bremer, and, on the whole, Kretschmer, have returned ; they 
advocate the claims of Europe, and especially of the steppes 
of Southern Russia, to be regarded as the home of the 
Aryans. Apparently the common ancestors of the Greeks 
and Italians moved along the Danube to Hungary, which 
has always been the " gate that led from the Pontic region 

1 See E. R. Wharton's Etyma Gratca, 1882, Pref., p. vi. 


to the interior of Europe." The Greeks found their way 
into the peninsula that afterwards bore their name, through 
Epirus (dpxata 'E\\a9, as Aristotle calls it), leaving the 
Macedonians to occupy the country to the North of them. 
The Italic tribes, comprising the Umbrians, Oscans and 
Latins, also proceeded along the Danube in a Southerly 
direction, and entered Italy from the North-East. Penka, 
Hirt, Streitberg and Bremer have marshalled their facts 
with great skill, and the combined force of their arguments 
is irresistible. Dr. O. Schrader in his work entitled 
Ursprache und Urgeschichte, and in his Reallexikon, gives his 
adhesion x to this theory. 

But whatever the truth may be concerning the home of * ations 
the Aryans, the presumption is that the settlement of Aryan Aryans 
races in the Southern peninsulas was preceded by a long lo^g time. 
course of migration extending over a thousand years or 
more. Not that these migrations were sudden or 
continuous ; more probably they took the form of a steady 
advance, from age to age, broken by temporary halts or 
long settlements here and there, and their progress more 
resembled the gradual movement of a glacier. 2 There were 
no savage inroads into defenceless lands, no pathways of 
blood and fire cleft through a shuddering civilization, as at a 
later day. This consideration suggests speculations of the 
deepest interest, and in particular we are prompted to ask, 
what were the causes that impelled these races to migrate ? 
What impressions did their wanderings leave on their 
national character? 

Unquestionably, judging from the analogy of parallel SSrSi? 
migrations of kindred races in historic times, first and fore- grat 
most among the forces that led to emigration must be placed 

1 It is no part of my purpose to enter exhaustively into this subject. 
For an account of the various views held up to 1890 the reader is referred 
to Dr. Schrader's Ursprache und Urgeschichte^ and for a clear statement 
of how the matter stands at present see the same author's Reallexikon, 
under the head Urheimat. 

2 Cf. R. von Ihering, The Evolution of the An'an (trans. Drucker), 
p. 390. 


The drama the inadequacy of the soil to maintain its occupants, partly 
owing to their ignorance of the art of renewing the ex- 
hausted energies of the earth by the agency of manure, and 
partly to the constant increase in population. This much 
truth certainly lay in the assertion, which used to be 
accepted without demur, that these waves moved westward 
from some region beyond the banks of the Euphrates and 
Tigris. The vast tract of territory which extends along the 
breadth of Asia, running between the 4Oth and 5oth degrees 
of latitude, as far as the Rhine, and even the Bay of Biscay, 
has been from time immemorial the highway of roving 
barbarians in search of a home. It earned in consequence 
the title of the Northern hive. Under pressure of want 
Goths and Vandals and Lombards and Burgundians left 
their native forests and wilds in the North for the rich 
plains of Italy, and the Northman, quitting his icebound 
crags, put off his roaming propensity, and softening his name 
and his nature amalgamated with the more cultured races 

hunger ^ Gaul. For these Southern countries have ever been the 
objects of the cupidity of the barbarian, and they offered 
peculiar attractions to the Aryans, as to the other hordes 
who followed the same track in after ages. The munificence 
of Nature had eminently fitted Italy for a human habitation. 
Its sunny hills, soft climate, and fruitful plains held out 
powerful inducements to a race which had previously known 
only the desolate steppes and the vast solitudes of the North. 
It was a similar land-hunger that at a later period precipitated 
Northern races upon the industry, the civilization, and the 
luxury of Italy. We see it at work in the inroads of the 
Celts, who, sweeping over the face of Italy, under their 
leader Brennus, with an irresistible momentum and gigantic 
energy, demanded land as the price of a cessation from 
hostilities. 1 We see it in the foundation of coloniae, as a 
means of relieving the surplus population of Italy. Such, 
doubtless, was the chief cause that impelled the Aryans of 

Livy, v. 36. 


an earlier day in a Southerly direction. Other reasons no Con- 
doubt contributed to the same end the joy of adventure, causc. ry 
the passion for warlike exploits, the restlessness and un- 
settled spirit that characterizes primitive races, traits which 
marked the Northmen of a later age. 1 This leads us to Moral 

results of 

speculate upon the moral influences that resulted from this 
period of migration. 

The experiences of the Aryans during their wandering life 
could not fail profoundly to affect their character. We 
have already in a former chapter had occasion to mention 
that the growth of civilization in Greece and Italy illustrates character - 
the law of Natural Selection. Nothing could have tended 
to call forth the finest qualities of the race more forcibly 
than the strain and stress of this era in its history. The 
fatigues of the march, the struggle with the rigours of 
climate, the necessity of tilling the earth to provide food on 
the journey, the constant collisions of the new-comers with 
the inhabitants whom they found in possession of the 
country, all these experiences could not fail to eliminate the 
weak and to evoke the latent powers of the strong. We 
are enabled to form some conception of the momentous 
changes that migration effected in evoking national 
characteristics by contrasting their destinies with the fate of 
a contiguous and cognate race. 

Until lately the Slavs have progressed but little, com- c 
paratively speaking, and still less have they figured in | 
European history. They were, indeed, the last to fall within 
the focus of historic light. 3 The cause is deep-seated. It 
takes us back to prehistoric times. The Aryan races, so fn? g ?ate. 
far as it is possible to arrive at any certain conclusions 

1 This invasion of the South by the Northern races is only one scene 
in that persevering conflict which, as history testifies, has been sustained 
from age to age between the North and the South in both hemispheres, 
the North assuming the aggressive, the South on the defensive. Cf. 
Isaiah xli. 25 ; Jer. i. 14 ; Joel ii. 20. 

- Pliny the Elder (A.D. 79) first mentions them. He and Tacitus 
allude to them under the name of Vencdi, and as We mien is a designa- 
tion for them invented by the Germans, the Roman writers clearly derived 
their knowledge of the Slavonic races from Germany. 


respecting their earliest home in Europe, first appear in the 
plateaux of Scythia ; nay, more, they may be localized in 
the region north of the Black Sea. From there they spread 
in various directions, seeking fresh homes, moving onward 
with resistless energy, only resting when they reached the 
countries that line the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. 
But while the Celt, the Teuton, the Greek, and the Italian 
were constantly and steadily pressing into view, the Slavs 
continued to occupy the broad steppes and forest lands of 
Central Europe. Thence they gradually expanded, first of 
all, during the interval between the second and fourth 
century, in a Southerly and Westerly direction, and after- 
wards towards the North and East. To them Herodotus 
doubtless refers when he speaks of the Nevpot and Neu/ok 7*7. 


And again : 

Ets fiev Si) run/ TTOTafuov roun %Kv6r)(ri ecm 6 v lorpos' /U.CTCI Se TOVTOV, 
05 euro )8opi> /A/ ave/x-ov op/xarat ap^erai 8 peW e* Xtfiv^s 
IJLtyXrjSy ov/uet rqv T* ^KvOuajv KCLL rrjv NcvpiSa ^v. 2 

That the author is alluding to the ancient Slavs is 
generally recognized. 3 Here, then, the Slavs led a dreamy 
existence, quiet, peaceable, devoid of ambition, lacking in 
enterprise, and military spirit. 

^ ^ e a ^ ove cau se of their arrested development must 
be added another, with which it is intimately allied. 
Throughout a great part of their history the Slavs have been 

1 iv. 17. "Still higher up (than the Scythian cultivators) are the 

2 iv. 51. "The Ister then is one of the great Scythian rivers ; the 
next to it is the Tyras (Dniester), which rises from a great lake separating 
Scythia from the land of the Neuri." The historian adds (iv. 17) that 
northwards of the Neuri the continent, so far as was known, was un- 
inhabited. Ephorus, as reported by Scymnus Chius, ascribes this fact 
to the ice (irayos) (103-105). 

The same root reappears in names of rivers, Ner, Nurec, Narew, and 
in names of places, Nuru and Nurjaninu. 

3 Cf. Mullenhof, Deutsche Alter tumskunde, Berlin, 1870-1900, ii. p. 89, 
and Safafik, Slavische Altertumer. 


subjected to despotism, and an able apologist of their cause 1 
has claimed for them the power of passive endurance and 
patience under suffering. To trace this characteristic of the 
Slavs as exhibited in more modern times', it is necessary to go 
back to the dawn of civilization in Northern Europe. The 
previous races, whom the Aryans found already on the soil, 
had been reduced to bondage. The Slavs, who, as has been 
said, were left behind, after the departure of their more 
adventurous kinsmen in time adapted themselves to the 
habits of their conquered populations, and through 
reciprocal action and reaction governors and governed 
became gradually assimilated to each other. The subject 
lost his desire of liberty and independence, the master, 
relieved of the necessity of work, lapsed into apathy and an 
incapacity for severe labour. Hence the very name Slav 
came to be synonymous with servitude. 2 Hence too the 
comparatively trifling role which the Slav nations have up 
to the last century sustained in international politics. The 
plaintive spirit of the hereditary bondman lives to-day in the 
proverb of the Russian moujik or peasant, " Our soul is God's, 
our body the Tsar's, and our backs belong to our masters." 

The operation of the same principle explains the contrast 
between the Eastern and Western branches of the Aryan 
family. While those who settled in India remained content 
with a stationary and stereotyped form of civilization, their EJJJJern 
Western kinsmen attained to a high standard of culture, and Ar y ans - 

1 Krasinski, Lectures on the Religious History of the Slavonic Nations 
1869, p. 98, cf. Maclear, The Slavs, p. 21. 

2 The derivation of the name Slav, from slava (glory), has been given 
up by modern Slavonic scholars. It is doubtless connected with the 
Slavonic expression for word, slovo. The root slu (Goth., hliu-ma; 
Gk., K\VO>, K\fFos ; Lat., duo} has a primitive meaning equivalent to 
clarum esse. Hence both slovo (word) and slava (glory). See Miklo- 
sich, Etymologisches Worterbuch der Slavischen Sprachen, Wien, 1886, 
sub voc. slu. Hence the Slavs are those who, alone in their own estima- 
tion, spoke articulately. The Slavs habitually applied to foreigners, 
especially Germans, the term niem or mute (cf. Russian niemets, a 
German), which affords a parallel to the Greek ftappapos. The word 
slav came to mean " slave," because the Germans made bondsmen of 
their neighbours, the Slavs. 


developed that remarkable individuality which has left so 
deep an impress on the human mind and human history, 
ware. Th e frequent wars, which were inevitable in the course of 

their migrations, while they were ousting or exterminating 
the earlier races that lay in their path, would affect them in 
unfold two ways. Their campaigns called into exercise their war- 
like qualities and whetted their love of enterprise. To this 
end the habit of military obedience would be cultivated. 
Hence the practice of discipline. Hence too the selection of 
men fitted by their physique and commanding presence for 
leadership in war. Terms like the Latin rex and the 
Sanskrit rajas take back our thoughts to this early time, 
when these qualities of skill, bravery and adventure were 
constantly called into requisition, and when personal courage 
and strength were the chief recommendations to place and 

o? mil?" There was one class of the community whose position 
posiSonof wou ld t> e deeply influenced by the migratory period. To its 
women, influence may probably be ascribed the elevation of woman 
in the Aryan community. Unlike their Eastern kinsmen, 
the Indians and Persians, the Western and Southern Aryans 
embraced monogamy. There must be some powerful reason 
to account for this difference between them, and the migra- 
tions may furnish us with an explanation. It is the contrast 
between the comparatively peaceful and placid existence of 
the Eastern Aryan, and the stirring scenes that attended the 
migrations of his Western kinsman. This turbulent period 
would offer woman abundant opportunities of proving her 
capacity. That the migratory period afforded an impulse to 
female development and raised the position of women in 
Europe may be seen by an appeal to history. It has been 
observed already that the typical representatives of the Aryan 
in the two peninsulas, Greece and Italy, were respectively 
the Roman and the Dorian. Of the latter Sparta may 
serve as an example. Both of these races were distinguished 
by their warlike qualities. In both of them the warrior's 
wife was held in the highest esteem, as the sharer of her 


ar l 


husband's struggles and as the mother of his sons, whom 
she trained to emulate their father's deeds. The famous 
mother of the Scipios, or the nameless mother of the Spartan 
youth, who bade him return from the battlefield either 
bearing his shield or borne upon it, might be taken as types 
of the product of such an age as the migratory period, when 
women would be called upon to participate in the ambitions 
and share the dangers of the sterner sex. 

Their religion also retained the impress of the period of Religion. 
their migration. An occasion will arise by-and-by to trace 
the bearing of the various employments followed from time 
time in the hunting stage, the nomadic and pastoral, and 
the agricultural on their racial character and religious 
institutions and beliefs. The consideration of these features 
in detail may therefore be conveniently postponed. 

Such appear to have been some of the effects of their 
migrations upon the habits, the character, and the religious 
feelings of those races which afterwards became the pioneers 
of culture in the Western world. The qualities which they 
acquired during this unsettled period found further scope 
while they were making good their footing in their new 
abodes. There, in the natural seats of civilization, the 
barbarian forgot his rudeness and submitted to the 
humanizing influences of the South. He developed a 
skill in the arts of life, and became acquainted with the 
rudiments of science to which he had hitherto been a 
stranger. He imitated the manners and customs of the 
races with whom he was brought into contact. He proved 
himself an apt pupil, too, and in process of time, by his 
ready power of assimilation, even eclipsed his teachers in 
those very departments of thought and action which he had 
learnt from them. Thus the countries which were the 
incentive to his desire for conquest became the instruments 
of his civilization. 





influence T HE next factor in the chain of cause and effect is the 

of their m .... 

environ- influence of environment or domicile. 

ment. . - . . 

Monies. When Montesquieu, 150 years ago, published his great 
tEflS- wor k, the promulgation of his views inaugurated an impor- 
ISrroSnd- tant e P ocn m tne philosophy of history. He maintained that 
ings> national development was conditioned by external circum- 
stances. The principle that he enunciated has been pushed 
Iroiitw? muc h further since his time. It is unnecessary to remind 
?r e w is ^ e rea der that Darwinism imparted a fresh impulse to this 
doctrine ; in fact, the principle occupies a most prominent 
place in Natural Selection, and with certain limitations it is 
true. Instances of its operations might be multiplied. The 
tionVo*' following is an example : it is well known that in the extreme 
cHmatefn nort h f Europe the fact that winter is the season when 
of Eu'rJpe. commerce is chiefly carried on has left its mark permanently 
on the mode of life. " In the summer," says a modern 
writer, 1 "there is a complete cessation from operations of 
this kind. The frozen surfaces of river, lake and creek are in 
consequence the natural highways." The results that this 
state of affairs has produced are interesting. In the Finnish 
language there exist native words for snow shoes and 
sledges, but the terms connected with road-making are 
absent from the original vocabulary. The latter are 
borrowed from their Slavonic or German neighbours. 2 

Though, as has been already intimated, peculiarities of 
soil, climate and country are not by themselves sufficient to 

1 O. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte und Warenkunde, p. 22. 

2 A. Ahlqvist, Die Kulturworter der westfinnischen Strachen, Hel- 
sm^fors, 1875, P- 125. 



account for great social changes, yet when other influences 
are present too, the former are far from being unimportant. 

The Greek and Italian are conspicuous instances of races Greece and 
being affected by the circumstances in which they lived. 

Prominent among the geographical features of Greece and Jj^^f"^" 
Italy which influenced their inhabitants was the configuration country. 
of the country. That Greece owed much of its maritime 
supremacy in historic times to the indentations of its coast, 
to its position on the threshold of Europe and its proximity 
to the Asiatic Continent, is well known to every student of 
Greek history. Yet in Greece itself the varied physical 
formation of the country influenced its inhabitants in various 
ways, and accounts for the diversity of character which was 
exhibited by the natives of different parts of the peninsula. 
The difference is well illustrated by the two typical States of 
historic Greece. The contrast between Sparta and Athens 
is borne in upon our minds in the political history of Greece. 
The one is conservative, the other democratic; the one 
exclusive, the other cosmopolitan. These characteristics are 
to some extent traceable to the conditions of their life. 

Sparta was surrounded by three ranges of mountains ; Sparta, 
between them lay the Spartan plain, which could not be 
approached except by high mountain passes. These in 
themselves afforded a natural barrier against invasion. At 
the same time the plain offered ample means of subsistence, 
and rendered the inhabitants independent of their neighbours. 
Hence the self-sufficiency, the exclusiveness, and a certain 
narrowness which characterized the Spartan. 

The position of Athens was in most respects the very Attica, 
opposite of this. Its soil was dry and rocky, its crops poor, 
but its situation compensated for the comparative barrenness 
of the land. Its proximity to the ^Egean Islands, to Asia 
Minor, and to the Euxine enabled it to command an im- 
portant trade. But Attica possessed other advantages which 
stood it in good stead. Its accessibility, its acquaintance 
with the traditions of the mysterious East, its attractions for 
the foreign merchant, and the versatility of its people all 


these fitted it at a later day for the duties of a central 
metropolis of knowledge to the youth just risen into manhood, 
who resorted thither from distant lands for purposes of 
education. The soil was volcanic in origin, and vegetation 
was scanty, but there were compensating advantages in the 
distinctive beauty of the country. The bright hues of the 
hills, the softness of their lines, and the delicacy of their 
contour were brought out by the special purity, elasticity and 
clearness of the air of Attica, fit concomitant and emblem of 
the genius of Athens. The scenery of Attica fostered the 
love of the plastic arts and the eye for symmetry, which 
reached its acme in the sculptures of the Parthenon and 

itaiy. The effect of geographical configuration on the minds of 

inhabitants is equally marked in Italy, though it made itself 
felt in a different way. Thus, it lent itself to the formation 
of confederacies, which were an important and characteristic 
feature of Italian history. Throughout the history of ancient 
Rome we are impressed by the circumstance that the geo- 
graphy of Italy was eminently propitious to the growth of an 
empire. Its situation in the middle of the known world 
fitted it admirably to be a centre of imperial administration ; 
while, within the boundaries of Italy itself, the causes which 
favoured the formation of tribal leagues also enabled Rome 
eventually to bring the various tribes under her sway. She 
began by playing one against another, and ended by welding 
them into a compact whole and employing them in her own 

The histor y of Babylon teaches the same lesson. It 
affords an example of the effect of water upon the development 
of national character. From a very early time, Babylon, 
seated as it was on the "Great River" Euphrates, developed 
an important trade. 1 Her neighbours, the Phoenicians, 
exhibited a similar bias. Though the coast of Palestine 
was deficient in natural harbours, it was the cradle of the 

1 Cf. R. von Ihering, 162-169. 


mercantile marine of the Mediterranean. Situated upon 
her rock " in the midst of the deep," surrounded by alien 
races, and thus shut out from the mainland from the very 
beginning of her history, Tyre found a natural outlet for 
her energy upon the sea. Together with her sister common- 
wealth Sidon, she planted colonies all along the Medi- 
terranean coast. She seized the islands as bases for her 
commerce, and according to time-honoured tradition, her 
mariners passed beyond the Pillars of Hercules, as the 
Straits of Gibraltar were once called. 

Their daring in exploration, their skill in cutting canals, 
their knowledge of engineering and mining, specially fitted 
the Phoenicians for the conduct of such operations. Their 
ships visited every port ; their purple dyes, tapestries, 
dried fish and other exports were to be found in every 
mart. Until the star of Greece arose in the ascendant the 
Phoenicians enjoyed an almost unchallenged monopoly of 
maritime commerce, so that if they did not originate, they 
performed 'a useful service in transmitting, the ideas, the 
inventions and institutions of the East to the ruder races 
of the West. 

The effect that a maritime life produced upon Greek Jp jjj m 
character in prehistoric times may easily be conjectured, 
and in more modern times clear evidence of its influence is 
forthcoming. The remark has been made by the Athenian 
philosopher that a seafaring life tends to foster the 
democratic spirit. This principle might be more widely 
applied. Then, as now, travel broke down the barriers 
that nature placed between country and country, or 
between race and race. It widened the mental vision, it 
facilitated mutual communication, it stimulated, if it did 
not produce, the versatility which proceeds from a know- 
ledge of " the cities and the minds of many men." l Then, 
as now, the sea encouraged enterprise; invigorated the 
faculties ; created the desire of acquiring knowledge and 

1 Homer, Od. i. 1-3 


the arts. Though the voyages of these early pioneers 
were limited in comparison with those of later times, 
yet even from these the mariner or the merchant returned 
richer in experience, because of hardships bravely endured 
and of dangers unflinchingly encountered. 

u ?ous Further, the neighbourhood of the sea would have the 

fde'fs. effect of colouring religious ideas. Not only did nature 

impart a certain complexion to the mythologies of earlier 

races, but more than this, by dictating the mode of life 

it also directly influenced their religion. 

i?Ucc e upa- That the daily occupation followed by primitive races 

nSFgfous aff 60 * 8 their mythological fancies is a fact familiar to those 

me v nt p ~ wno nave studied the customs of untutored tribes. Thus, 

A parallel. ^ is well known that the myths of the Polynesians bear 

evidence of having sprung up among a race of husband- 

men and fishermen, and their religious conceptions cor- 

respond entirely to the beneficent nature which surrounds 

Italians them. 1 When we turn to Italy we are at once struck by 

m^rftime the fact tnat R o m e had little sympathy for the sea. Her 

people. maritime commerce was of comparatively late origin, and 

ri?er a -gods. was onl y learnt from Greece. But if the Italians lagged 

behind in the race for maritime supremacy, and if, con- 

sequently, they borrowed most of their sea-gods and legends 

connected with the sea from their imaginative neighbours 

in Greece, on the other hand there was no lack among them 

of river-gods, or of nymphs of the stream or the fountain. 

Neptunus is a god of water in general, not necessarily 
of the sea. A cycle of legends that gathered around the 
Greek god Poseidon was incorporated into Italian mythology 
and woven around his Latin counterpart. The hot climate 
and the dryness of the soil led the inhabitants to set a 
corresponding value upon stream and lake and river, and the 
duty of honouring or propitiating the genius 2 or presiding 

1 C. V.TutetGesckudems van den Godsdienst, tot aan de heerschatflij 
der wereldgodsdiensten, Amsterdam, 1876, 13. 

The epithets l P 6 s and sacer are frequently applied to them. For 
instances of temples and statues erected in their honour, see Horn. 


deity of the stream followed as a natural consequence. The 
sources of rivers or brooks were in the popular imagination 
invested with a peculiar sanctity. Father Tiber, with his 
"yellow sands"; 1 Padus, the "king of rivers"; Clitumnus, 2 
rich in herds and flocks, claimed their adoration. Nor were 
the rivers alone honoured in this way. Egeria, 3 the nymph, 
with whom King Numa kept tryst; Juturna, 4 at whose spring 
the gods Castor and Pollux watered their foaming steeds, 
after announcing to the assembled Romans the victory of 
Lake Regillus ; these and a host of other native deities were 
regarded with the utmost veneration. Rivers and fountains, 
moreover, were credited with medicinal virtues, or shrouded 
in mystery, or surrounded with a halo of majesty. When 
the worship of Greek gods and goddesses was transplanted 
to Italy, the Italian devotee vied with the imaginative, quick- 
witted Hellene in paying homage to Nereus, with his train 
of nymphs and water-sprites, and to Proteus, the "old man 
of the sea," around whom Greek fancy had woven a wealth 
of legendary lore. 

The connection between the physical aspects of the 
country and the mental and moral development of those to 
whose eyes its features are daily present is more marked in 
the earlier stages of society ; also when the Greek and Italian 
races were growing to maturity, Europe presented an aspect 
very different from that which it now wears. Districts which 

Od. xvii. 210. Cicero, De Nat. iii. 20. The festival of the Springs and 
Fountains (the Fontinalid) was held on the thirteenth of October. 
Pliny, Epist. viii. 8, 5, 6 ; Virgil, ^Enetd vii. 31. 

1 Virgil, &n. vii. 31. Horace, Odes i. 2, 13. It is so called from the 
Puzzolan earth on its bed. 

2 Virgil, Georg. ii. 146. 

3 Juvenal, Sat. iii. 12. The locality of the fountain where Numa held 
these mysterious interviews has been recently fixed. It lies in a hollow 
under some farm-buildings attached to the Villa Mattei, near the Porta 
Capena and behind S. Stefano Rotondo. See A. Hare, Walks in Rome 
i. 375, and R. E. Lanciani, Pagan and Christian Rome> London, 1892, 
P- 293. 

* This has been discovered in the Forum. The Temple of the 
Dioscuri, originally erected to commemorate the battle of Lake Regillus 
(496 B.C.), is situated near the spot. 


are now cleared and barren were at that time covered with 
timber. And the influence of forests on the human mind has, 
on the whole, been favourable. The absence of plants in 
Australia, for example, has retarded progress. On the other 
hand, the ruins of Central America, the home of the 
Mexicans and Peruvians, bear eloquent testimony to the 
truth that mountains and forest-land, so far from discouraging 
advance, are conducive to a high civilization. This it does in 
und es deter. more than one wa y< Firstly, the nature of the country goes far 
Awards determining the kind of occupation which is suitable 
to the inhabitants. While the inhabitant of the plain is 
pastoral, and hardly ever rises above that stage, the native of 
the hills, mountains and woods naturally takes to hunting, 
and depends for his subsistence on the chase. 

colouring Secondly, as has been previously remarked regarding 
water, the occupation followed re-acts upon religious and 
/nfliSfce mythological conceptions. This influence is to be observed 
in the case of some Negro tribes. " The religion of war-loving 
tribes," says Dr. Tiele, 1 " is sanguinary and cruel," while 
" among those Negroes who are engaged chiefly in industry 
and commerce, without neglecting cattle-breeding and 
agriculture, a much more humane and civilized worship 
prevails, in which, however, the spirit of trade betrays itself 
m a certain cunning towards the spirits." Similarly it will 
be seen at a later stage that there are reasons for thinking 
that both the barbarous practices and the milder customs 
in the religions of Greece and Italy bear a close relation 
to the occupations pursued by the inhabitants of those two 

The primeval forest, the unchanging mountain and vast 
plain must have exercised an immediate influence upon the 
mmds and religious beliefs of those who dwelt among them. 
6 I H-, 6 f reSt WaS awe - ins Pg to those who 

tTe lh? f ym ltS Shade: the mountain aH*ad in 
t of some mysterious power to those who dwelt at 

. . 

1 Geschiedenis van den Godsdienst, 13. 


its foot ; the silent solitude of the steppe was eloquent with 
mysteries to those who roamed over it. 

The effect of physical surroundings may be traced in the India, 
popular creeds of India. The natural aspect of that country 
has operated on the natives in different ways. For the 
Hindu the luxuriant vegetation in jungle and grove, the logy - 
tribes of beasts and birds, with their strange forms, their 
striking colours and passionate cries, have induced the 
worship of beasts and plants. It is needless to remark that 
in the Hindu religious system metempsychosis, or trans- 
migration of souls into birds and beasts, occupies a 
prominent place. But on other minds the nature of the 
country has produced an opposite effect. The idea of space 
is all-absorbing in India. We are at once impressed 
with the vastness, the vagueness, the dreaminess on every 
side. Unlike the Hindu, therefore, the Buddhist is oppressed Buddhism. 
by an overwhelming consciousness of the power of Nature. 
That feeling is only natural in a country like India, with its 
peculiarities of formation and climate. There the treeless, 
unsheltered plains only reflect the blazing sky or parching 
rays of the sun. Not seldom Nature denies to the natives 
crops and fruitful seasons. The monotonous and unvarying 
landscape produces in the inhabitants a corresponding 
melancholy. They are, for the most part, far removed 
from the salutary, vivifying influence of the ever-changing 
sea. The outcome of these conditions of life has been a 
creed which holds out to its votaries, as a reward of life-long 
service, the prospect of annihilation. 

The same susceptibility to the desolation of Nature is to 
be seen in Greece. We have already remarked upon the 
resources of the native imagination in creating a world of 
supernatural beings. We have likewise referred to the deifi- 
cation in Italy of the operations or phases of Nature under 
the name of numzna the alternations of the seasons, the 
changes of atmosphere, the varying aspects of the landscape, 
being ascribed to supernatural agents. But in the case of r k rof 
the Greek, certainly, if not of the Italian, another instinct isolation - 



was satisfied by the belief in beautiful spirits that haunted 
forest and field. The Greek was by nature sociable and 
joyful, and he was robbed of the pleasure of life if there 
was none to share it with him. He had a horror of 
blank desolation. He liked to believe, therefore, that he 
Hence the was surrounded by a race of airy beings, with whom he held 

belief in J , , , j 

spirits communion, who helped him in emergencies, who watched 
over his person, who guided his fortunes and promoted his 

le u nt oseto Further, it lent a kind of purpose to the beauties of 
jaturai Nature, to the noble oak, to the murmuring brook and 
tinkling waterfall, to imagine that these natural objects 
formed the habitation, or ministered to the enjoyment of 
supernatural beings, the Dryad, the Oread, the nymph, the 
water-sprite, who certainly existed, though mortal eye could 
not discern them. 

irSafSrai ^he m ythology f I^y an( i Sicily furnishes another 
m h e e n n ai"n illustration. The geological formation of the Italian 
itaiy. peninsula at the present day shows that it was at one 
time the theatre of immense volcanic changes, which were 
fraught with terror to the minds of those who dwelt in 
their neighbourhood. Underneath those lofty mountains, 
or within those yawning craters so the tales ran there 
lay monsters who once had plagued the earth, or rebellious 
spirits who had been quelled by the avenging thunderbolt, 
and hurled down to Tartarus to expiate their crimes but not 
necessarily for ever. Tossing uneasily in their prison- 
house, or beating against the bars of their cage, the 
prisoners from time to time reminded men of their 
presence by angry roars deep down in subterranean caverns, 
by flames issuing from fissures, by upheavals which involved 
towns and villages in ruins. Who knew at what hour 
they might not be awakened into awful activity, and spread 
death and desolation around them ? These natural 
phenomena, therefore, did much to colour the beliefs of 
the Italian. When the early Greek settler in Sicily heard 
the fire rumbling beneath Mount Etna, he seemed to hear 


the fire-breathing Typhceus, who, having aspired to the 
sovereignty of gods and men, was now paying in his prison 
the penalty of his ambition. 1 When flames issued forth 
from the cave, near which stood the Ara Maxima at Rome, 2 
the inhabitants said it was the work of Cacus the son of 
Vulcan. 3 

In like manner the mephitic vapours of Lake Avernus, 
in the neighbourhood of Cumae, over which, owing to 
the deadly exhalations, " no bird could fly and live," 4 gave 
rise to the myth which made it the entrance of the lower 
world. 5 The pages of the antiquarian poet Virgil offer many 
instances of such popular beliefs, and he has turned them 
to good account in his national poem, the 

1 Pindar, Pyth. i. 18. Verg., &n. viii. 716, identified Inarime (Homer, 
Iliad ii. 782) with Pithecusa; others place Typhceus in Cilicia, Mysia or 
Syria. The belief that these convulsions of nature were the work of malig- 
nant beings had apparently not died away in the early part of the nineteenth 
century. Lord Byron wrote from Missolonghi, during the Greek war of 
Independence, February 25, 1824: "On Saturday we had the smartest 
shock of an earthquake which I remember : and the whole army dis- 
charged their arms, upon the same principle that savages beat drums 
or howl, during an eclipse of the moon." The author alludes to the idea, 
common among the uncivilized, that an eclipse is caused by a dragon 
or demon devouring or otherwise assailing the sun or moon. Cf. Tacitus, 
Annals i. 27 ; Lubbock, The Origin of Civilization, 229. 

2 Livy i, 7 ; Dionys. i. 390 ; Propert. iv. 9. 

3 Vergil, dLneid viii. 190. 

4 Hence the popular etymology Avernus, aopvos (opvis, a bird). 

5 The Grotto della Pace was called after a Spaniard, Pietro della Pace. 
It is near Cuma, ancient Cumae, a Greek colony founded loco B.C. The 
walls of its Acropolis are still visible. The grotto is the spelunca alta, or 
"deep cave," spoken of by Vergil in the &neid (vi. 126), and, from 
the steep slope leading down, the phrase facilis descensus Averno is 
derived. It ends near the shore of Lake Avernus. The water of the 
lake is 500 feet deep and fills the crater of an extinct volcano. The 
wildness of the scene, the thick wood which formerly surrounded the 
lake, and the malaria which prevails here in the hot season, in former 
times lent colour to the belief that it formed the entrance to the infernal 
regions. Hannibal and his army sacrificed on this spot, and many a 
superstition even to this day gathers around the place. 




Extra- HITHERTO we have dealt with the internal causes of de- 
"nflue'nces. velopment in Greece and Italy. We have seen something 
The of the latent power and inherent capacity of the races 
fHroVi* whicn if tne y did not entirel y create the civilization of 
the two peninsulas, yet played a prominent part in its 
creation. We have seen that these faculties were called 
forth by the migrations which must have preceded their 
settlement. We have seen that nature exercised a power- 
ful effect upon their growth. This has led some writers 
to regard its influence not merely as the principal cause, 
but as the only cause of their special characteristics. 
But there remains for consideration another influence, 
intimately important to our purpose, that is, the result of 
intellectual intercourse with external races. 

Aryan It has been already suggested that when the Aryan made 

zation kis way into the Southern peninsulas, though his civili- 
zation, if it existed at all, was but slight, yet he brought 
with him great capacity for development. In consequence 
his arrival introduced a vigorous element into the forces 
Siththe wor king for civilization. It was an accepted axiom in 
East - former days that the civilization of Greece and Italy 
dated from contact with the East and South. The 
traditional view connected its origin chiefly with Egypt 
and Babylonia, the two centres of intellectual illumination 
in the ancient world. Phoenicia, it was believed, acted 
as an intermediary in transmitting Oriental ideas to Western 
deposition s h res - To this view modern scholars were predisposed 
Sew! 8 for several reasons. Their training in the Hebrew Scriptures, 


the imposing chronology of Egypt, the duration of the Baby- 
lonian Empire, all combined to give the student a bias 
towards the belief that the East and the South were the 
starting points of European culture. There was much 
to recommend this theory. The truth is, that the his- 
tory of civilization is largely a history of trade. It is a fij,^ 112 *" 
woven warp of several threads, though these are difficult com P lex ' 
to unravel. Races are largely the pupils and inheritors 
of more reflective races with whom they are brought into 
contact. It is impossible, therefore, to pronounce positively 
how, when, and where the various elements made their 
way into Southern Europe. European civilization is a 
mosaic of elements, partly non-Aryan or survivals of previous 
strata, partly Aryan, partly Southern. Even as regards 
Greece itself, it is now affirmed on high authority that 
the Mycenaean culture was not a Greek creation. Though 
a Greek population shared in it, they were not necessarily 
the only or even the dominant element. 1 To this diversity 
of elements the Greek language, as we have seen, bears 
striking testimony. 

The " glamour of the Orient," then, for a long time held JJ^jJ 11 
the investigators enthralled, but a reaction has ensued. JJ? a e ditional 
Many years ago Ottfried Miiller denied altogether the school 
influence of Phoenicia and Egypt upon the early civiliza- 
tion of Greece. The renunciation of the belief that the 
Aryans came from some region in Central Asia, to which 
allusion has already been made, and the substitution for it the East< 
of the theory that their earliest settlement must be looked 
for in Eastern or Northern Europe, has helped to break 
the spell exercised by the East. How far the pendulum 
has swung back may be gathered from Professor Brunn's 
bold theory that the sculptures of Nineveh betray evidences 
of Greek workmanship. The revolt against the traditional 
school came to a head with the publication of M. Salamon 

1 Presidential Address of the Anthropological Section of the British 
Association, 1896, by A. J. Evans. 


Reinach's essay entitled Mirage Oriental. 1 The author of 
this book has since reinforced his arguments. His views may 
be briefly stated. He argues that so far from the exaggerated 
pretensions of the East to influence over Europe being well- 
founded, Chaldean cylinders actually reveal vestiges of 
Western influence. 2 Europe, says he, evolved her civilization 
independently, and it was no exotic. Thus far M. Reinach. 
The truth would seem to lie between the two extremes. In 
speaking of religious beliefs we referred to the individuality 
idu- t h a t distinguished the Greek character; the fact is, that 
Siture. an tms remark might be extended and applied to Europe in 
general, or, at all events, to the Southern part of the 
European continent, as distinguished from the East. 
European civilization possessed a character of its own, for 
the origin of which we must look to the innate genius of the 
inhabitants, rather than to any foreign influence. While 
the East excelled in mechanical contrivances and material 
civilization, and while the physical sciences, so far as can 
Eastern b e ascertained, took their rise in Asia, Europe possessed 
formal artistic qualities and an aesthetic sense to which Egypt and 
European Babylon were strangers. The higher order of European 
strmtgeV 8 civilization was the product of this native genius, and to it 
tic has been given the name of ^Egean culture. It spread from 
an unknown centre. It ranged from Switzerland to Cyprus, 
and included Asia Minor in its area. Roughly speaking, 
ire ' it falls into two periods; the earlier is represented by the 
A S mo e rg n os at finds in the Island of Amorgos and elsewhere, to which 
Niycenae. the name Cycladic has been given. 

Natural- The considerations which have led archaeologists to this 

d^Sduaufy" conclusion are profoundly interesting, but they hardly fall 

art. within the scope of this sketch of recent progress in Greek 

Archaeology. One observation, however, is admissible. 

The same individuality, of which mention has already been 

made, as characterizing European civilization generally, was 

1 In Chroniques d' Orient, Paris, 1896, pp. 509-565. 

2 Cf. A. J. Evans' Presidential Address, p. 910. 



carried into the region of art. It has been suggested that 
in the triumphs of the sculptural art of Greece and Italy 
in Classic times, the same artistic faculties re-appear which 
marked the work of the Reindeer Age. Of this period i5J imatc 
specimens survive in carvings of bone and ivory which 80urce - 
have been discovered from time to time. Though as yet 
they were only rudimentary, they held out much promise 
of future development. It is probable, therefore, that the 
higher art that characterized that remote age was smothered 
by a Neolithic civilization, which, though inferior to that of 
the Reindeer Period, was its superior in material resources. 
What were the causes of this arrest of artistic development 
we can only conjecture. Whatever they may have been, 
this artistic instinct lay dormant for a long while, but in 
time it was re-awakened into a new life by contact with a 
Southern race. It shook off its trammels, reached its 
zenith in the products of Classic Greece, and ended by re- 
acting on the older civilization of Egypt and Asia. But, Differ- 
however that may be, it is certain that a high civilization between 


flourished around the basin of the Mediterranean anterior and East- 

ern art. 

to the time when the influence of Egyptian and Babylonian 
art began to affect the European continent. Between the 
native and exotic styles a distinct difference is discernible. 
One is spirited and untrammelled, the other stiff and formal, 
one is individualistic, the other conventional. 

But granting the independent evolution of European oriental 

civilization, it would be strange indeed if we did not also ^dis- 

find traces of an influence exerted on the Europe of that 
day by the two countries which formed reservoirs, as it 
were, whence ancient civilization flowed and whence much 
of modern culture has been derived. The civilization of 
Assyria and Babylonia goes back beyond human ken, and 
its origin is lost in the mists of antiquity, since it 
flourished at a time when Pharaoh had not tyrannized on 
the banks of the Nile nor Nimrod held sway in Nineveh. 

To enter upon a detailed discussion of a problem so influence 

of Oriental 

intricate, so far-reaching, and so full of uncertainty, as countries. 


the relations between Europe and the East would be out 
of place in a chapter which is only intended to put the 
reader in possession of the main outlines of the recent 
results of research. It will, moreover, be necessary at 
a later stage to refer incidentally to the traces of Oriental 
influence in the several departments of thought and action 
which will arise for consideration. And are not these subjects 
handled in treatises by Tsountas and Manatt, 1 Hall, 3 
and Ridgeway? 3 Only a brief allusion, therefore, need be 
made here to the debt owed by Greece to the three repre- 
sentative races of the East. 

Their high The further we penetrate into the history of the past 
Ulty ' the more we become impressed by the narrow field and 
the recent growth of modern civilization, as compared with 
the hoary antiquity of Eastern races. At a time when 
the ancestors of modern nations were running wild in the 
woods of Europe a high civilization flourished on the 
Nile, the Tigris and the Euphrates. Even when the 
inquirer has concluded his task, and thinks he has found 
the earliest records of Eastern races, vistas open before 
him in the dim distance which extend beyond the reach of 
human investigation. 

Relative Of late years the accepted view as to the relative positions 

B 8 abvionia of Egypt and Assyria has undergone a momentous change. 

' Assyriologists have completely reversed the individual claims 

of these two countries to rank as the pioneers of civilization. 4 

Until recently Egypt was believed to have possessed the 

older culture, for its records reach back as far as the first 

half of the thirtieth century B.C. Modern research, however, 

has sounded the knell of this as of a number of theories 

1 Tsountas, MvKrjvai KOI MvKrjvaios TroXtnoyios ; Tsountas and Manatt, 
The Mycentzan Age, New York, 1897. 

2 Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, London, 1901. 

3 Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, Cambridge, 1901. 

4 The whole of the country embraced by the Tigris and Euphrates is 
geographically as well as historically one. Ancient writers spoke of the 
whole under the general name of Assyria, but Babylonia would have been 
a more correct designation. 


relating to the history of the East. It has been shown that 
the history of Babylon preceded that of Egypt by a thousand 
years. Nor is this all. Evidence exists to prove that, 
much as the Babylonians were associated with Semitic 
races, their civilization was not of Semitic origin. The 
earliest occupants of Babylonia were Sumerians and 
Akkadians, whose origin is lost in antiquity. The only 
thing which can be safely asserted about them is that 
they spoke a language of an agglutinative type, that is, 
one in which roots are joined together to form words. 
But before the end of the millennium 1 a Semitic power 
appeared on the political horizon, which took possession 
of several of the cities of Northern Babylonia. This in- 
vasion effected no fundamental change in the civilization 
of the conquered country, for then, as so often since in 
the history of civilization, the victorious people became 
the pupil, not the teacher, and voluntarily placed itself at 
the feet of those whom it originally trod beneath its own. 
So complete was the adoption of the new culture by the 
invader that, although it is well nigh possible to dis- 
criminate between the original elements and the system 
superimposed upon them, there is no doubt that the ideas 
and institutions of the conqueror were moulded by the 

The Egyptian and Semitic races were doubtless con- f a n r j ction 
nected at one time, according to the belief of Maspero, an ^"V^nd 
unexceptionable witness ; and at a very early time, at Bafc y lonia - 
least as early as forty centuries B.C., a commercial inter- 
course existed between Egypt and Babylonia. But the 
latter took the lead in the march of progress. Not that 
Egypt derived its culture from Babylonia, for it is now 
stated on high authority that Egyptian civilization was 
no exotic, but sprang up in the valley of the Nile. This, 
however, is far from saying that it was free from the 
influence of Semitic races. On the contrary, there is clear 

1 Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, p. 116. 


evidence that, while Egyptian influence on the Semitic 

world was slight, the influence of the Semitic races on Egypt, 

for a time at least, was considerable. This is seen from the 

fact that by the fifteenth century the Semitic dialect of 

Babylonia (the later "Assyrian") had come to be used as 

the language of diplomacy by the court scribes of Egypt. 1 

character The civilization of Babylonia was marked by a scien- 

io f nf a a n y " tific and practical character, and the fruits of Babylonian 

civilization . . -j-, 

scientific sc ience are with us to this day in modern Europe. As- 
tronomy is historically traceable to them. Mathematics 
also emanated from the same source, and in all probability 
the common methods of measuring time and space pro- 
ceeded from the same quarter. Architecture, also, was a 
Babylonian creation, and the adoption of bricks in the 
oldest pyramids in Egypt, when there was an abundant 
supply of native stone, testifies to the influence of Baby- 
lonia on Egypt in the art of building. 

The above-mentioned features fall within the limits of 
the historic period. 

The influence of Babylonian civilization upon Greece 
* s unmistakable. No evidence exists of any connection 
between the Babylonians and the pre- Mycenaean peoples, 
but it is clear that in the Mycenaean period Babylonian 
culture, constantly advancing Westwards, had established 
communication with Greece. Accordingly Babylonia has 
left its mark on Mycenaean handicraft and art, which bear 
distinct traces of the effects of Babylonian prototypes, as 

Greek art. is seen, for instance, in early ^Egean art. It shows 
itself in indigenous imitations of Babylonian cylinders ; 
it is seen, too, in the assimilation of the primitive idols 
to Eastern models and it exerted an influence on the 
externals of cult. 2 

Egyptians Unlike the Babylonians, whose aims were practical, the 

and philo- 

1 Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, p. 119. 

2 A. J. Evans, Presidential Address, 918. 


Egyptians displayed a speculative turn and a philosophical 
bias, and their superiority over the Babylonians in this 
respect is very conspicuous. In the domain of intellect 
Egypt outstripped its instructors. Even in matters 
practical utility the Egyptians proved formidable rivals. Greece - 
In spite of assertions to the contrary by those who have 
justly vindicated the claims of Europe to a native civiliza- 
tion, the indebtedness of Greece to Egypt from a very 
early time must be acknowledged. "It is not a little 
curious," says a modern writer, " that the widespread 
civilization of Babylonia should have had so much less 
regular connection with and exercised so much less real 
influence upon the development of Mycenaean culture than 
the distant civilization of Egypt." 1 

That there existed an intimate intercourse between Europe 
and Egypt as early as the XVIIIth and XlXth Dynasty is 
now known. It appears also that relations of some kind 
existed between Greece and Egypt in pre-Mycenaean days. 
This is shown on the one hand by the discovery of glass 
and ivory objects of Egyptian workmanship of the Xllth 
Dynasty in pre-Mycenaean sites and graves in Crete, and, 
on the other, by the discovery of black pre-Mycenaean 
pottery in company with objects of the Xllth and XII Ith 
Dynasties in Egypt. 2 Their transmission is probably trace- 
able to inter-tribal barter, but some may be due to direct 
derivation. It can only be explained by the actual settle- 
ment of colonists from the ^Egean side, and the abundant 
relics of ^Egean ceramic manufactures found by Professor 
Petrie on Egyptian sites warrant the belief in a primeval 
intercourse with the valley of the Nile. 

The allusions to Egypt in the Homeric poems are References 
interesting. The only passage in the Iliad is the follow- in Homer, 
ing, which cannot be later than the ninth century, for in 

1 Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, p. 142. 

2 Hall, 143 ; Flinders Petrie, Kahun, Gurob, and Hawara, p. 42. 


the eighth the glory of the city of Thebes had passed 

AfyvTm'as, o0i TrXetora So>ois ev /cTTJ/xara KCITOU, 
At 0' CKaro/ATTvXot etcri, 8177*00-101 8' dv' CKacrras 


away : 

The Odyssey exhibits a better knowledge of Egypt. It is 
aland of wealth, 2 of rich harvest, 3 of physicians possessing 
almost superhuman skill. 4 It is a land of mystery and 
fable, the dwelling-place of "the old man of the sea, 
infallible, the deathless Egyptian Proteus, who knows the 
depths of every sea." 5 But neither the mysteries of this 
region, nor the dangers of the voyage deterred the reckless 
pirates of Crete from making descents upon the rich lands 
of the Delta. 6 

indi- The early intercourse between Egypt and Europe, there- 

of Greek f or e, sufficiently accounts for the existence of Egyptian 
influence upon the early Greek culture. But after making 
all allowances for Eastern influence, the ^Egean culture, 
with its many manifestations of artistic genius, so instinct 
with naturalism, so pronounced in its individuality, rapidly 
and completely assimilated the borrowed ideas. It stamped 
the stiff, traditional methods that it owed to the East with a 
vigour and beauty of its own, and finally emancipated itself 
from the yoke of Asia altogether. 
The Phce- The channels by which these products of Greek and 

nicians . . * 

merciai Oriental genius were exchanged, as already indicated, can 
be conjectured rather than actually proved. We now pass 
on to consider a race who are known to have played an 
important part in the Mediterranean basin in the dawn of 

1 ix. 381-384. "Egyptian Thebes, where the treasure houses are stored 
the fullest Thebes of the hundred gates, whence sally forth two hunrded 
warriors through each with horses and chariots." (LANG, LEAF and 
MYERS, transl.) Thebes was destroyed in the eighth century, during the 
conflict between the Ethiopians and Assyrians. 

2 iv. 127. 3 iv. 229. 4 iv. 231. 

b Od. iv. 365, 385. Proteus was an object of special veneration to the 
Cretans, and Mr. Hall has suggested that Cretan sailors probably located 
him at the mouths of the Nile. f> Od. xiv. 257. 


civilization. Yet concerning them also some doubt prevails. 
Formerly it was supposed that the Phoenicians were the 
transmitters of Semitic culture both to Greece and Italy. 
To such an extent was this view at one time carried, and 
so implicitly was it accepted that P. Volksmuth 1 and others 
undertook to prove that the Pelasgians were Phoenicians. 
But this view has been entirely exploded. Many years ago 
C. O. Miiller had cast doubts upon the amount of influence 
with which the Phoenicians had been credited. It is now 
acknowledged that the estimate formed, especially by Movers 
and Oberhummer, of the part played by them has been ex- 
aggerated. The office of intermediary between East and West 
was no monopoly of the Phoenician. Not only is much more 
stress now laid on the importance of barter between tribe and 
tribe, as a means of communication, but an intimate inter- 
course between Europe and the East is shown to have 
existed at an early period. That about 1450 B.C., if not 
earlier, some connection existed is proved by the relics 
discovered in Egypt, which, with their seaweeds and marine 
creatures, are true products of the island world of Greece. 
But these discoveries do not dispel the theory that the 
Phoenicians fulfilled an important mission in bringing 
together the two Continents. Dr. Helbig, still pre- 
possessed by this doctrine, inclines to the notion that the 
engraved gems and seals found with Mycenaean remains 
are traceable to Phoenician importation, but he has not 
succeeded in carrying with him other investigators in the 
same field. 

The many-sided activity of the Phoenicians is proved by P 
the numerous settlements which they formed. Hemmed in activity, 
by powerful nations, they adopted a seafaring life as much 
from necessity as from choice. In the fifteenth century 2 
these enterprising traders had established regular routes 
with the interior of Asia, and maintained commercial 
dealings with the lands on the Euphrates and Tigris. 

1 In Die Pelas^er als Semiten, Schaffhausen, 1860. a Hall, 136. 


With Egypt they must have had a close connection from 
an early time. Herodotus 1 speaks of a Tyrian quarter at 
Memphis. But we are chiefly interested in their operations 
in the Mediterranean. 3 

ntoans^" Their presence in the Mge&n Sea is vouched for in a 
te^ean variety of ways. Thither they appear to have made their 
waters. way at a ^g not j ater t j lan IOOO B c< Arrived in these 

waters they turned the islands, the promontories and other 
points of vantage to good account, by the erection of 
factories and marts of commerce. In these regions they 
either dislodged or superimposed themselves upon the 
inhabitants. Chalcis, 3 Malea, 4 Cythera, 5 Lemnos, 6 Samo- 
thrace, Imbros, Samos, 7 Thera, 8 Rhodes, 9 Cyprus, 10 and 
Crete, 11 these are some of the points upon which they 
seized as affording exceptional opportunity for the prosecu- 
tion of their trade. It has been stated already that the 
Phoenicians came into contact with Greece in the Mycenaean 
period, probably for the first time in Cyprus 12 and, as their 
cities appear already active in the fifteenth century B.C., 
and in constant communication with Egypt, in all proba- 
bility the Phoenicians acted as intermediaries between 
Mycenaean Cyprus and that country. By the eighth century 
the Phoenicians had overrun the ^Egean in all directions, 
orphan?. To turn to the commodities in which they dealt, it is 
cianan. wor thy of remark that the Phoenician civilization dis- 
played but little originality, and that the chief characteristic 
of Phoenician art is its incongruous combination of foreign 
elements. 13 With the exception of a few inventions the 

122. 2 Thuc> L 8 

Schhemann, Tiryns, 22-28 ; Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, 

Max Duncker, History of Greece i., ch. iv., p. 151. 
Hall, 228, 234. s ibid., 226. ^ ibid., 227. 

Ibtd., 228 ; Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece i. 196. 
Schhemann, Tiryns, 27 ; Hall, 228. 10 Hall, 132, 261. 

i" u J ' EvanS) President l Address, 919, 920 ; Hall, 228. 

The so-called " syncretic bowls" are instances in point. They com- 
bine Egyptian and Assyrian decorative elements in alternate bands or 
parts of the same band. See Perrot and Chipiez, Hist, de PArt iii. 759, 779. 


Phoenician artist did not rise above the level attained by 
his instructor. On the other hand, the Phoenician race 
was eminently fitted by nature for mercantile occupations. 

Through their agency many products of Asiatic in- 
dustry, original or borrowed, found their way to Western 
shores. Such was the Sidonian glass-work, for the manu- 
facture of which the sands of the Belus may have afforded 
excellent material. Such were the purple dyes. These 
were probably a Babylonian invention procured from the 
murex, or shellfish, which was discovered along the coast. 
Phoenician purple fisheries were famous in antiquity, and 
it is a curious circumstance that the names of the two 
main tints of purple, dark red (argdmdri) and dark blue 
(tekheletti), do not appear to be Phoenician. Whatever 
the origin of the word, the Phoenicians brought the art 
of purple dying to a high pitch of perfection and spread 
the knowledge of it far and wide. Indeed Duncker's in- 
genious suggestion that the purple stations were the oldest 
of all their settlements probably represents the true state 
of the case. 

But many other arts and industries were associated in 
the ancient mind with the Phoenicians, and the tradition 
is corroborated by language. Many Greek names as well of 
stuffs, clothes and utensils as of the tunnyfish (dvwos) and 
peacock (raw) bear evidence of Phoenician origin, and the 
terms for weights and measures bear the impress of the 
Phoenician mind. 1 Such are odoviov, "linen-cloth," %moi/, 
" under-garment," " frock," /-te'raXXoy, " pit," " mine," 
" metal," /3aeraz/o9, " touchstone," and 8pa^ij t " drachma." 
But their operations were not confined to diffusing the 
arts and industries of their Eastern neighbours, nor even 
to improving upon the methods that they borrowed. In 
the character of slave-traders and kidnappers their sinister 
figures flit across the pages of Homer and are gone : The 
swineherd relates to Odysseus 2 the story of his life, how 

1 Cf. A. Miiller in Beitrag 2. A', d. indo%. Spr. i. 273. Od. xv. 415. 


he, the son of a king in the Isle of Syria, was carried 
'away in childhood. The Phoenician ''mariners renowned, 
greedy merchant men, with all manner of gauds in a black 
ship," corrupt a country-woman of their own found in 
the island, herself a captive slave, and propose taking her 
away with them. Thereupon she in her turn offers to 
bring the king's son, her charge, and convey him with 
her, for "he will fetch a great price, wheresoever he be 
taken for sale among men of strange speech." 

Their methods are graphically delineated in the Homeric 
poems. We only catch stray glimpses of them ; they 
are here to-day and there to-morrow. Now it is a 
Phoenician versed in deceit, " a greedy knave, who had 
already done much mischief among men." He arrives 
in Egypt and lures Odysseus away to Phoenicia. After- 
wards he beguiles him to Libya, intending to sell him 
into captivity. 1 Now it is an itinerant chapman dazzling 
the eyes of his fair patrons with his trinkets. Thus, in 
the scene succeeding the compact between the female 
slaves and the Phoenician traders in the above story : 

"HA.V0' avrjp TToAvi'Spis cfjiov Trpos Sahara Trarpos 
XpvcreoF op/xov e^wv, jotera 8' ^A.eKTpoto~tv eepro. 
Tov //,!> ap' iv /Acyapw o/xtoa! Kai TTOTVLO. ^irjrrjp 
Xepo"iv T dyK^a^otoVTo K<U 6<f>6a\fJiOLa'iv opwvro 

QvOV 7TlO"^0/AVat' 6 Se TlT KttTVVCT (TUDTTr}. 2 

Until the Greeks dispossessed the Phoenicians of the 
mastery of the sea, they enjoyed undisputed command 
of it, and probably many of the mythical names attest 
the enterprise of these bold navigators in exploring 

1 The fact that Odysseus to escape detection is inventing in this 
narrative does not diminish its interest as testimony to the usual 
methods of the Phoenicians and the estimation in which they were held. 
Od. xv. 459. The passage describes a messenger who tells the 
woman that the sailors are ready to start. " There came a man versed 
in craft to my father's house, with a golden chain strung here and there 
with amber beads. Now the maidens in the hall and my lady mother 
were handling the chain and gazing on it, and offering him a price ; but 
he had signed silently to the woman." But the Phoenicians were capable of 
a benevolent action. In the Odyssey, xiii. 272, they are described as 
taking off the shore a homicide. 


unknown countries which were realms of mystery. Some 
of their early adventures are enshrined in place names. 
The word 'EvpMTrrj itself may be of that number. Ac- 
cording to Hesychius it means the land of the setting 
sun, which leads Dr. Lewy 1 with much plausibility to 
connect the word with the Assyrian erebu, and ereb tiamsi, 
" sunset." Under the same category may be placed the 
legend of the sea-monster Skylla. The adventures of 
Odysseus in his perilous voyage past Skylla are told by 
Homer. 2 She dwells in a cavern, has six dragon throats 
and twelve sharp claws, and a body surrounded with dogs. 
To approach her means death. Usually the name 2icv\\a 
is derived from (TKv\\ew, to mangle, but there is no allusion 
to this feature of the monster's character in Homer's 
Odyssey. 3 Those who hold that the name and the legend 
bear an Eastern stamp have probability on their side. 
Dr. Helbig 4 is of that opinion, and Dr. Lewy is inclined 
to regard Skylla as a name applied to the ogress Lamia. 
Once a queen, according to the Libyan legend, 5 Lamia 
was robbed by Hera of all her children and then with- 
drew into a lonely cavern where she became a voracious 
monster tearing children from their mothers, and slaying 
them. 6 Now the Hebrew sakkuld signifies the raging of 
a wild beast, and was especially applied to the fury of 
an animal deprived of its offspring. Not only so, but 
the fabled mother of Skylla is KparauV and this again 
may be equated with the Hebrew, harada, to "terrify." 8 
It is certainly an attractive supposition that these crafty 9 
merchants, who from fear of encroachment took so much 
care to conceal the sources of their wealth, might go on 

1 Lewy, Die semitischen Fremdivorter im Griechischen^ p. 1 39. 

2 Od. xii. 85, 124, 235. 3 xii. 256. 

4 Das Homerische Epos? 427. 5 Preller, Griech. Myth. i. 3 507. 

6 Cf. Aristophanes, Vespae, 1177, where her name is employed as a 

7 Od. xii. 124. 

8 The Scholiast states that the father of Skylla was A/io*, " Terror." 

9 Cf. for instance Od. xv. 49. 


to envelop in mystery the wonders and dangers of strange 
lands, and to invest with terror the monsters of the deep. 

In the light of the above facts it would appear that there 

were good grounds for concluding that Greece was far 

from insensible to the glamour of the older civilizations 

Greece as- o f the Asiatic and African continents. What it did 


borrowed borrow, Greece, instinct as it was with individuality, as- 
similated, elaborated and brought to perfection ; but the 
Greek mind was not enslaved by this Oriental influence. 
o 3 f i ?he p M C y ^ ut a f ur t ner question arises. If, as may now be assumed, 
culture" Greece evolved an independent civilization, we are led on 
to inquire at what centre the ^Egean culture originated. 
Upon this problem recent research has thrown a flood 
islands of of light. Antecedently, it might be surmised that, in 
^Egean. view of the geographical advantages offered by the islands 
of the ^Egean, the cradle of the Mycenaean civilization 
should be sought there. They were accessible from the 
sea, yet comparatively safe from attack. They formed, 
so to speak, the advance-guard of Europe. They were, 
too, the natural stepping-stones between North and South, 
yet not immediately contiguous to the older civilizations 
f Egypt and Babylonia. What more likely than that 
they were the birthplace of the Mycensean culture ? 
po r ?nted?o Yet further tradition pointed to Crete. Around this 
Crete. island some of the oldest myths clustered. Here Minos 
had created a powerful maritime dominion, not only check- 
ing piracy but making himself master of the ^Egean. 1 
Here the same king had established a code of law and a 
system of political institutions, which afterwards became 
the model followed by the lawgiver Lycurgus of Sparta, 
for Minos had been instructed in the art of legislation 
by Zeus himself. 2 Hither Daedalus, the prince of artificers, 
had fled ; here he constructed the famous labyrinth ; here 
he became in legendary lore the embodiment of the earliest 
developments of the arts of sculpture and architecture. 

1 Thuc. i. 4 ; Strabo i., p. 48. * Paus. iii. 482. 


Hither had come the bull from the sea, in answer to the 
monarch Minos's vow, and here through the anger of 
Poseidon, Pasiphae conceived her fatal passion for the 
bull. 1 Here Ariadne, a king's daughter, for love of 
Theseus of Athens found him a way from death and fur- 
nished him with a clue to the bewildering mazes of the 
labyrinth, and in return for her toil was faithlessly 
forsaken. 3 Under the glare of modern criticism these 
accounts had been relegated to the limbo of exploded 
errors. 8 Now these legends have been proved to rest 
on a solid basis of fact. Everything, therefore, pointed 
to Crete, and it was expected that the island might 
yield to the pickaxe of the archaeologist a wealth of 
valuable material. 

Nor have these high expectations been falsified. The 
explorations conducted by Professor Halbherr, of the the island 
Italian archaeological mission, have produced interesting 
and valuable results. Thus, in the spring of this year, 
1902, experimental excavations were begun at Hagia Triada, 
in the neighbourhood of Phaestos, and the month of May 
saw unearthed a portion of the basement of a Mycenaean 
palace. Its walls were decorated with frescoes, one of 
which presents a series of spirals interlaced with flowering 
plants. It is supposed that the place was the country 
residence of the kings of Phaestos, and among the objects 
already found are seals with pre- Hellenic characters and a 
number of terra-cotta figurines of the most primitive type. 
Still greater interest attaches to the discoveries of Mr. 
Arthur Evans in the island. Mr. Evans' earlier researches 
justified the expectation that still more important results 
might be looked for. Accordingly, following up the clues 
already in his hands, he proceeded to excavate on a site above 

1 Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3, I. iii. 3. 

- These episodes in the history of this realm of mystery and romance 
were favourite subjects with painters ; they figure frequently in the 
frescoes of Pompeii and Herculaneum. 

3 Cf. Hockh, Creta i., p. 56. 


Knossos, the traditional royal city of Minos. He was re- 
warded by the discovery of the basement of a large building of 
a pre-historic age, to all appearance a palace. It had perished 
in a conflagration, the work probably of invaders, who 
had swept down on Crete from the sea, sacking and 
burning as they went. Ever since they left its smoking 
ruins, the site had remained almost untouched. The 
discoverer is of opinion, for reasons which he states, that 
this act of spoliation cannot well have taken place later 
than the eleventh or twelfth century before the Christian 
era; more probably it was about the fifteenth. But the 
palace, even then, was an old building, for it bore evidence 
of more than one date, and among the ruins was found 
an Egyptian figure with inscriptions proving it to be now 
nearly four thousand years old. It is too early in the day 
to determine the full import of these finds, but one point 
may be mentioned as possessing a paramount interest and 
special significance. The megara, or halls, which have 
been disclosed are totally different from those which were 
discovered at Tiryns, and there is evidence of the existence 
of a vast upper story. But these are not the only novel 
features which these remains disclose. The corridors and 
halls, which have come to light, intricate enough as they are 
to deserve the name labyrinth, and the presence of the 
double axe, or labrys, point to the origin at once of the 
legend and the name. The frequent recurrence of the 
bull-figures suggests how the story of the Minotaur arose. 
The frescoes that cover the walls convey an idea of the 
inmates, one of whom, a young man with dark curly hair, 
a swarthy skin, but regular features, finds his counterpart 
in a type of face represented in the glens of Ida and the 
nifi e ca s n?"e White Mountains at this day. Of the discovery of two 
f s the sets of signs which are earlier by five hundred years 
:overies. than the Phoenician syllabary, the one pictographic, 
the other linear, we shall have occasion to speak by- 
and-by. Altogether, the objects that have been laid 
bare point to the evolution of a civilization in Crete 


which was independent of Egypt. Whether or not these 
discoveries may be considered to have definitely determined 
the birthplace of the ^Egean culture, at any rate if they 
have not reversed, they have served to modify the ideas 
formerly entertained concerning the mutual relations 
between the East and the West ; and a fresh page is now 
opened in the history of the world. 




object of " No stage of civilization comes into existence spontaneously, 
hJqliry. but it grows or is developed out of the stage before it." l 
These words of Dr. Tylor's express concisely the principle 
underlying our inquiry into the evolution of thought in 
Greece and Italy. For the sake of clearness our object may 
be stated more fully. It is an attempt to reconstruct in 
imagination, from the material at our command, a picture 
of that obscure period that lies between the primitive phase 
of Aryan life on the one hand, so far as that period has been 
revealed to us by linguistic and craniological research, and 
on the other hand, the later stages of their development 
down to historic times. It has been seen 2 that there are 
no gaps, no sudden leaps in Nature. Accordingly it is not 
too much to suppose that the history of civilization in 
Greece and Italy, were it possible to trace it to its source, 
would in like manner exhibit an orderly progress. 

The evidence at our command is of a varied character. 
The In the past the materials for a reconstruction of this extinct 

Science ot * 

Anthropo- world of thought have been sought in one, or, at most, in 
two sciences, to the neglect of the rest. To the Science of 
Anthropology, adumbrated by Spencer, Fontenelle and De 
Brosses, 3 and elaborated into a system by Tylor, Lub- 
bock, Lang, Frazer, Jevons, Hartland and Waitz, is due 
the credit of enlisting several sciences for the purpose of 

1 Anthropology, p. 20. 2 Chaps. I. and II. 

3 Spencer in 1732, De Brosses 1760 ; Fontenelle died 1757. For an 
account of their contributions to the science, see A. Lang, Myth, Ritual 
and Religion i. 31. 


investigating the growth of the human mind. Thus, 
Anthropology has to a large extent been able to lift up the 
curtain that concealed the history of primeval times. 
Nothing comes amiss to Anthropology. Whether it be a 
figure on a Greek vase, or the curve of a letter, or a burial 
rite, or a fragment of a hymn, each is laid under contribu- 
tion. Until the aid of all these auxiliaries was invoked, 
Philology, or the Science of Language, reigned supreme. 
It was considered that language was a solvent for all the 
difficulties attending the investigation of the past history 
of the human race. But now Anthropology, Mythology, 
Philology, and Archaeology all contribute a share to the 
common stock of knowledge. This correlation of sciences 
in the interest of pre-historic research was employed with 
much effect by Victor Hehn. In his fascinating work, thiere ' 
Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere, first published in 1883, he 
wrote the history of animals and plants, in many cases 
tracing their progress from Asia to Europe. While apply- 
ing himself to this branch of inquiry in particular, he 
pointed out the way to other investigators, who have 
worked on a more comprehensive scale, or, like himself, 
have chosen some special subjects for consideration. He 
indicated, moreover, by his valuable notes, in what way 
lost links in the chain of evidence afforded by one science 
might be supplied from other sources at our command. 

Formerly, as has been already said, Comparative Philology 
held the field in this province of scientific study. There Philology 
can be no question of its claims to speak of those portions 
of human history which lie beyond our ken, and have left 
no documentary evidence behind them. Language has J^fJjJJJf 6 
been aptly termed by Emerson " fossil poetry," but the history, 
phrase might well be changed to " fossil history." Just as 
the fossil preserves in a petrified state the fauna or flora of 
past ages, so words effectually embody the evidence of the 
workings of the human mind, and chronicle human move- 
ments in bygone ages. These relics record, in a crystallized " wor 
form, the gradual growth of social institutions, of elementary 


ethics, of the development of the moral sense, and moral 
conceptions. They present to our view a kind of map 
indicating how high the tide of civilization flowed and at 
what point it began to ebb. Do we wish to know some- 
thing of the earliest views of punishment ? A comparison 
of the Latin pcena, punire, the Greek Trowy, and the Sanskrit 
punthi reveals the fact that punishment in the first instance 
was looked upon as a removal of guilt. Do we seek the 
earliest ideas concerning the nature of bodily disease ? The 
views that were at one time entertained concerning various 
maladies have come down to us enshrined in many words 
that are in use at this day. To the primitive mind disease 
is due to possession by an evil spirit, and this belief survives 
in our word epilepsy. 1 The original term is frrtXipfris, and 
this again is derived from the Greek eVtXa/iySai/etv, to " lay 
hold of," the demon being supposed by the popular imagina- 
tion to seize and convulse the sufferer. 2 Do we seek for the 
theories held by the early Italic races with regard to the 
origin of mental disorders ? The word lunaticus sheds light 
upon them ; for in many countries besides Italy the moon, 
luna, has been, and is still, popularly believed to exercise 
an injurious influence upon the intellect. Of this belief we 
have a relic in the word lunatic, or " moonstruck," which 
we use to-day without thinking of its original signification. 
The same idea was shared by the Hebrews, as witness the 
verse in the Psalm : 3 

" The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night." 

Indeed, the moon is considered by races the most diverse 
and distant from each other to produce mental aberration. 

1 Several words of this kind survive in the medical terminology of 
Classic and Hellenistic Greek. See W. K. Hobart, The Medical 
Language of St. Luke, Dublin, 1882. 

' An epileptic seizure on the day of the comitia or elections was 
regarded as an evil omen, and the proceedings were suspended for the 
time being. Hence the name for epilepsy, comitialis morbus. Cf. the 
later term morbus sacer, the accursed disease, Caelius Aurelianus, Tardce 
Passiones, i. 4. 

3 cxxi. 6. 

The admixture of races will account for the numerous Admixture 

of races. 

extraneous elements which are to be found in the most 
fertile and flexible of ancient languages, the Greek. The 
fusion of tribes had another effect. It is shown by the 
duplicate names for various gods and goddesses, and the 
consequent syncretism in their religious systems, namely, 
the attempt to harmonize the various religious beliefs of the 
several races that amalgamated. The double names Pallas 
Athene and Phoibos Apollon are probably to be explained in 
this way. Sometimes the god of a conquered race is 
admitted, but he is relegated to an inferior rank. Sometimes 
a resemblance or relationship is traced between several 
deities and they are grouped together. When their natures 
could not be easily harmonized with one another, deities 
were assigned as consorts to a superior deity. The result is 
a mosaic of names attesting their derivation from several 
tribal religions. 

But while language is a valuable auxiliary, it is by no Language 
means infallible. The study of language is attended by {JJJ|?J ure 
many difficulties, and caution must be exercised in adopting 
its conclusions. Not more than half a century ago, Hebrew 
was commonly regarded as the parent speech from which 
other languages were derived, until Schlegel conjectured and 
Bopp and Jacob Grimm confirmed the hypothesis that the 
spoken languages of Europe were closely connected with 
Indian and Persian. The science of Comparative Philology 
now stepped from the misty regions of popular fancy to the 
firmer ground of scientific investigation. Then followed the 
fanciful pictures of the early Aryan drawn by another well- "^"j of 
known school of philologists. It was believed that the 
Aryans before the separation possessed a high standard of 
civilization. It was a delightful picture which, according to 
this theory, the primitive family presented to view. Under 
the gentle rule of the head of the household, the "protector" 
or "supporter" (Sanskrit pitdr, Greek TTOTTJ/O, Latin pater), 
the members lead a peaceful and uneventful existence. The 
mother is the "measurer" of the daily dole of corn, the 



brother is a " bearer of burdens," the sister a " consoler " or 
"pleaser"; the daughter is familiarly known by the term of 
endearment " little milkmaid." The chief means of sub- 
sistence are afforded by the ox, which is watched by the 
trusty dog. But a closer analysis reveals the fact that 
while this portrayal of the rude state of society contained 
elements of truth, life at that early time was the reverse of 
idyllic and peaceful. The picture was a very different one. 
It now proves that the primitive Aryan was in truth far 
from the civilized being he was then represented to be, and 
that he was constantly brought face to face with the stern 
realities of life : that the head of the household ruled with a 
rod of iron, and that his dependents, wife, children, and 
slave, were often the victims of no little barbarity. 
Difficulties Much of the difficulty attending the interpretation of early 
dence!* language lies in the circumstance that the meanings of words 
vagueness m trie early stages of their growth are vague and uncertain, 
Ganges of while in the later stages they change considerably. We may 
take two or three instances at random. It is characteristic 
Pnhm- tlon of primitive races that in expressing to themselves some 
founfer r conception they must have the two opposite phases present 
to their minds at the same time. The consequence is that 
we find many primitive words which bear two opposite 
meanings. 1 This phenomenon meets us in some Greek 
and Latin words which are capable of two construc- 
tions ; either of them suggests its correlative. Such are 
the Greek o^oX??, " leisure " and " industry " ; Latin altus, 
"high" and "low"; cedere, "go" and "come." In 
German also relics of this stage of growth are traceable, as 
in borgen, which signifies both to "lend " and to "borrow." 
There is this difference, however, between these languages 
and a primitive form of human speech, like Egyptian, that 
in the latter the opposite phase is not merely implied but 
expressed. Uncertainty attaches to other words, yet they 

1 Cf. The Contemporary Review, April, 1884. and Bain's Rhetoric, 
part i., p. 196. 


shed an important light on the growth of civilization. Such 
are the names for plants. Thus, it is probable that the JiJJjJJ 8 of 
Sanskrit ydva at first meant any grain which yielded flour, 
but afterwards came to signify barleycorn, barley. With 
this the Greek eta (af-ia), corn, should doubtless be equated, 
but the meaning of Jem is obscure also. It sometimes seems 
to signify " millet," and may well have been the grain grown 
at a time when husbandry was limited to digging with the 
hoe, and the products were of the simplest kind. The 
Greek $7770'? affords another instance of a similar fluctuation 
of meaning, dictated by the changed conditions of the life 
of those who employed the word. It is certainly connected 
with the Latin fagus, beech tree. Its etymology is trans- 
parent, for the root is identical with that of fyayelv, to eat. 1 
Evidently, therefore, it signified a tree which bore edible 
fruit. This was the beech tree, with which the ancestors 
of the Greeks were already familiar in the region whence 
they came. But as they continued their way southwards 
they made the acquaintance of the chestnut and walnut 
trees, the fruit of which bore a resemblance to that of the 
beech. To these trees accordingly they applied the old 
name, $77769. 

For a similar reason the names for some animals are Names of 


not always easy to determine. They likewise showed 
that their meanings changed with the migrations of these 
primitive races and the widening of their mental horizon. 
We find this in the word for eel, the history of which it 
is possible to trace. The place of the eel in the animal 
kingdom was not clear in Homer's time. From fish it 
is distinguished in the Iliad, 2 where the phrase 
re KOI i^Oves occurs. On the other hand, the word 
is doubtless to be assigned to the same group as the Greek 
?, snake, exiSva, viper, Latin anguis, snake. We see here 

1 Cf. the name of the Phrygian god, Z*vs Bayaios, the god of the oak or 
beech tree. See Schrader, Reallex^ 117. 

2 xxi. 203. 


another illustration of the vagueness or hesitancy of early 
language and the gradual restriction of meaning as time 
goes on. 

science of g u t it is in the region of Comparative Mythology, above 
fo ve and" a U> *h at Philology has run riot. Mythology offers a wide 
togy h ~ scope and many temptations for indulging in wild specula- 
tion. It was perhaps to be expected that the young 
science of language, full of youthful ardour and energy, 
and with boundless fields before it, would overrate its 
powers. The consequence was that large superstructures 
of theory were based on slender data, which advancing 
knowledge has demonstrated to be false and untenable. 
complra- 01 The case is different, however, with the later phases 
penology. 0^ the Greek and Latin languages. Here the changes in 
the meaning of words, and the testimony that they afford 
of a corresponding change of thought of which words 
were the outward expression, are unmistakable. While 
admitting, therefore, that in all cases mathematical cer- 
tainty cannot be attained, the results may be considered as 
sufficiently decisive to offer a firm foundation to rest upon, 
survivals. But we are not dependent for our information upon 
Philology alone. The science of Anthropology has helped 
to explain many customs apparently capricious and un- 
reasonable, which are to be found even among the most 
civilized races. Some of these bear upon their surface 
the birthmarks of barbarism or even of savagery ; others 
mode y m are not so easily explained. Who would have supposed 
dSrivST that the hunting-whip placed on the coffin of a sportsman 
G?Sce and is d ue to the same feeling as that which prompted the 
Greek islander to bury his oar by a sailor's side? or 
that the custom of leading the caparisoned charger of 
the deceased at a general's obsequies is on a par with 
the Roman usage of immolating a horse on its owner's 
grave ? Many such customs have come down to us from the 
classic Greeks and Italians. But those nations again in their 
turn inherited from an earlier age many of these practices 
that tell a tale of savagery. 


The reason of the invincible tenacity with which such 
customs are preserved is not far to seek. There is inherent 
in the human mind a strong feeling of conservatism, 
especially with regard to things that are hallowed by tra- 
dition. The savage is the slave of innumerable precedents 
which determine every act and word, and it is in the domain 
of religion that this law operates most of all, according 
to the principle laid down by the Greek philosopher : 

Sfl 8c avra prjOfjvcu ToivSe eve/ca KaroiKifcovTi TTO\LV ovr' ai> Kaivrjv 
e apX*7 s Ti? TTOLJJ our' av TraAcuav &i<f>0ap[jitvr)v e7rrKeua7Tai, Trcpl 
0toi> ye Kat iepwv, arra T ev TTJ TroAei e/caorois i8pu(r$ai Set K<H aWivtov 
7roi/o/Aacr#<u Oewv 17 Sat/xovwr, ouSeis 7ri^tp7;o - t KIVCIV vovv t^wi/ . . . 
TOVTOM> vofioOery TO oyxi/cpoTaTov aTravTwv ovSei/ Kii/^reov. 1 

The historian Livy relates an incident which supplied 
food and fuel for the superstitious Romans, and illustrates 
the conservative feeling which so signally marked their 
character : 

" Eodem Appio auctore Potitii, gens cujus ad aram maximam 
Herculis familiare sacerdotium fuerat, servos publicos ministerii dele- 
gandi causa sollemnia ejus sacri docuerant : traditur inde dictu mirabile 
et quod dimovendis statu suo sacris religionem facere posset, quum 
duodecim familiae ea tempestate Potitiorum essent, puberes ad triginta, 
omnes intra annum cum stirpe exstinctos, nee nomen tantum Potitiorum 
interisse sed censorem etiam Appium memori deum ira post aliquot annos 
luminibus captum." 2 

1 Plato, Laws, v. 738, B. "These properties of number should be 
ascertained at leisure by those who are bound by law to know them ; for 
they are true, and should be proclaimed at the foundation of the city, 
with a view to use. Whether the legislator is establishing a new state, 
or restoring an old and decayed one, in respect of gods and temples the 
temples which are to be built in each city, and the gods, or demi-gods, 
after whom they are to be called, if he be a man of sense he will make 
no change in anything ; . . . The least part of these should not be 
disturbed by the legislator." 

2 ix., c. 29. "By direction of the same Appius, the Potitian family, in 
which the office of priests attendant on the great altar of Hercules was 
hereditary, instructed some of the public servants in the rites of the 
solemnity, with the intention of delegating the office to them. A circum- 
stance is recorded, wonderful to relate, one which should make people 
scrupulous of disturbing the established modes of religious solemnities ; 
for though there were, at that time, twelve branches of the Potitian family, 
all grown-up persons, to the number of thirty, yet they were every one, 
together with their offspring, cut off within the year ; so that the name 
of the Potitii became extinct, while the censor Appius also was, by the 
unrelenting wrath of the gods, some years after deprived of sight." 


ise'ofthe The fire-drill furnishes an instance of a popular usage 

ISe-driii e dying hard. In Greece l and Italy the method of kindling 
a fire by means of driving a stick rapidly through a groove 
made in another piece of wood was probably common. 2 
But when this primitive method was superseded by the 
use of the flint, in preparing the sacred fire or for other 
ceremonial purposes, the fire-drill continued to be em- 
ployed. To this tradition Festus alludes when he speaks 
of the Vestal Virgins rekindling the sacred fire of which 
they were the guardians. He describes the wood employed 
as a tabula felicis materice. 

kn?fe st ne The same conservat i ve feeling dictated the custom of 
using a stone knife in certain sacrifices. Though knives 
made of metal had long been known, these survivals of 
the stone age were employed by preference. To the same 

Salt> sentiment may be ascribed the exclusion of salt from the 
sacrifice of victims, a regulation to which there is an 
allusion in a fragment preserved by Athenseus : 

6$ev !TI Kat vvv rS)v Trporepov 
TO. o"jr\a.y\va rots Oeolcriv oir 
aXas ov TrpocrdyovTes' ov yap y 
6ts rrjv Toiaimyv xprjcrw 

in law. fhe following observance in the region of law affords 
another instance in point. When a murderer was put on 
his trial in an Athenian court of law, it was customary, up 
to a late period, to include the instrument with which the 
deed was committed in the culprit's condemnation. The 
formal pronouncement of the sentence on the axe or knife 
was a regular feature of legal procedure at Athens. To this 
feeling of conservatism, which is so marked a characteristic 

1 Called irvpcla. Cf. Teperpov, rpvTravov, and terebrare. 

2 The fire-drill is found in all parts of the world. The public museum 
in Dublin contains several interesting specimens. 

3 xiv., 81 (661), p. 92, Edit. Stereotyp. Lipsise, 1834. "Wherefore, 
even at this day, recollecting those that went before them, they roast the 
entrails with the flame to the gods, bringing no salt near, for it had not yet 
been discovered for such a purpose." Cf. Meineke, Com. Fragm. iv., 
p. 557 ; O. Schrader, Reallex. 701. The same prejudice survived in 
India : H. Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, Berlin, 1894, p. 413. 


of early society, are to be ascribed many other anomalies 
that existed in the institutions of Greece and Rome. In 
short, the civilization of both countries is strewn with 
fragments of the superstitions of bygone ages, the origin of 
which had been forgotten. These had come to be regarded 
as mere symbols of former realities which later generations 
tried to veil or explain away. 

It is natural to look to backward races or remote corners . us * on \ s 

die hardest 

of the country for these relics of the past, and it is among jg 
such races and in such localities that we find them. The J 
country districts of Greece and Italy clung to savage Greece . 
practices long after civilization had leavened the towns. 
Happily we possess the evidence of one who had seen 
many of these curiosities with his own eyes. For the 
remoter regions of Greece yielded an abundant harvest of 
such relics of barbarism to the antiquary and traveller 
Pausanias in the second century of the Christian era. 1 
While they are profoundly interesting, they reveal an 
amount of credulity which would surprise us in a Maori 
or a Redskin. 

The same condition of things seems to have obtained in 
Italy down to a late time. The truth of this statement is 
attested by the term paganus, which, from meaning country- 
man, afterwards came to bear the signification of pagan. 2 
For while Christianity began to spread in the more populous 
centres, indeed, after it had gained possession of the town, 
a hundred dark customs of paganism lingered among the 
unprogressive peasantry who dwelt in remote valleys or on 
the desolate sea-coast. 3 What, then, must have been the 

1 Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion, p. 257 (new edition). 

* It would be interesting to know at what date the word began to mean 
" pagan." Dietz, Etymologisches Worterbuch der romanischen Sprachen, 
Bonn, 1869, sub voc. pagano, seems to place it after the reign of Con- 
stantine the Great. '* So hiessen die Bekenner des alten Gotterdienstes, 
weil er sich seit Constantin d. gr. auf das platte Land hatte fltichten 
miissen." Cf. the German heide, Grimm, Myth., 1198. 

* The old legends in Greece survive, veiled under Christian forms, 
at this day, stones relating to pagan heroes and gods being transferred 


state of the inhabitants of sequestered districts, or the 
regions furthest from the Mediterranean in prehistoric 

to Christian saints. The exploits of Poseidon are credited to St. Nikola ; 
the Blessed Virgin takes the place of Athene ; and Elias is found to possess 
qualities in common with Helios, St. Paul with Herakles, and St. 
Dionysios with Dionysos. Cf. Wachsmuth, Das alte Griechenland im 
neuen, pp. 24, 25. 




IT has been remarked incidentally, in speaking of language, JJyth 
that Myth is precarious ground on which to build theories in evidence, 
the study of civilization. Apart from the vague and shadowy 
character of the mythical periods of a nation's growth, the 
difficulty has been aggravated by the interpretations of myth 
that have been offered at various times. The science of 
Comparative Mythology has been dominated by successive 
schools. Thirty years ago the Sun-theory or Sun-myth was f ^,. , 
recommended as the open sesame of all mysteries in the Jyj h - 
region of Mythology. It was believed that the hero of many, Sun and 
if not most, of the Aryan myths was reducible to the Sun. sk y m y ths - 
According to this school of Comparative Mythologists the 
beautiful stories and the exquisite poetry to be found in the 
legendary lore of the Aryans were the result of decay. 
These legends began with the personification of natural 
phenomena. Every god and goddess, hero and demon, was 
a phase or an expression, it might be of the ever-changing 
firmament, or the many-twinkling smile of the sea. 1 Every 
object which men saw around them was endowed with life. 
When the sun set in soft light over the Western horizon it 
was believed that the dawn had come to soothe her spouse 
in his last hour. When the heavens withheld their rain, a 
dragon (men said) must have pent up the waters in a prison- 
house. Such was the simple language in which the primi- 
tive Aryan described the processes of nature. Afterwards 
the Aryan family broke up and carried with them a common 

1 yEschylus, Prom. 90. 


heritage of mythical tradition. In course of time this 
common property became corrupted. The original meaning 
of names for natural objects was forgotten ; their agreeable 
features were distorted and too often disfigured, for they gave 
rise to gross and repulsive tales. Still, their earlier significa- 
tion is not entirely lost to us, for where the Greek or Latin 
legend or language fails to supply the key, Sanskrit furnishes 
one. Phoroneus is clearly identical with the Indian god of 
fire, Bhuranyu ; Hermes with Sarama ; and the Phlegyai 
with the Bhrigu. Even where the exact explanation is not 
forthcoming, we need not feel any doubt about their inter- 
pretation. No longer does the sun decline and sink in the 
West ; it is Selene coming to look on her beloved Endymion 
departing. No longer is the rain described as imprisoned in 
the clouds ; it is the Sphinx which utters its dark sayings 
and is slain by CEdipus, the Sun. Such was said to be the 
explanation of all these myths, and not only the Sun-god, 
but the chief gods and goddesses, together with all the lesser 
deities that figured in their train, were thus cast into solution 
and melted away. 

The theory that Ancestor- worship was the starting-point of 
religious beliefs usurped the place vacated by the Sun-myth, 
and has found able advocates. This idea was initiated by 
Mr. Herbert Spencer, and has been carried to absurd lengths. 
Thus Mr. Grant Allen committed himself to the opinion that 
a characteristic feature of the higher forms of religion was a 
"grotesque fungoid which clustered around the primeval 
thread of Ancestor- worship." l But this view is untenable as 
an explanation of social phenomena of so great an im- 
portance. The worship of ancestors does, indeed, play an 
important part in primitive religions (if what is practically a 
mere belief in ghosts may be dignified with the title of 
religion) that are to be met with among unprogressive races 
at the present day, for instance, in Australia. 2 Still, it 

1 Pall Mall Gazette, April 28th, 1890. B. Kidd, Social Evolution^ 
P- 23- 

2 Cf. A. Lang, Magic and Religion, pp. 50, 51. 


cannot be regarded as affording an adequate solution of the 
problem. Neither does Ancestor-worship any more than the 
Sun and Sky myth afford a sufficient basis to account for so 
universal a phenomenon. 

Yet, used with caution, Comparative Mythology may S ate 
render important service as an instrument in interpreting Mythology 
the past. The standpoint, however, from which myths in aSSSaly. 
general are now regarded has shifted. Under the name science of 
of the Science of Folklore, Comparative Mythology now Folklore - 
undertakes the interpretation not of the legends of one race JioS d of ffu 
alone, but compares the traditions of several races, finally myth 
taking into consideration the myths of the most widely 
separated countries. Thus, as will appear in the sequel, 
many of the legends of Greece and Italy find their counter- 
part among races who, though still left on a low level 
of culture, yet possess in varying degrees the mythopceic 
faculty. The following instance will serve to make the ^^JJf 1 " 
matter clear. The legend ran that the Greek god Zeus le s ends - 
having heard that Metis, his consort, would bear a child 
greater than himself, determined to compass its destruction. 
He persuaded his wife to assume the form of a fly, and then 
treacherously swallowed her. Not long afterwards Athene 
was born out of his head. 1 The same story is told by the 
Greek poet Hesiod. 3 It bears upon its surface marks of 
having originated in an early and barbarous age. 3 To this 
myth a parallel is offered by birth legends that occur in 
Scandinavia, in Mangaia, in Algonkin fable, and in Buddhist 
tradition, 4 while a similar deception is practised by characters 
who appear in the Arabian Nights, and in the adventures 
of Taliesin of Wales. 

1 The birth of Athene forms the subject of one of the pictures on a 
well-known Greek vase in the British Museum, B. 244. There Zeus is 
portrayed as wearing female dress. 

2 It is not told by Homer. Cf. the Scholiast on Hesiod, Theogony, 885. 

3 " Antiquitatem arguit ipsa figmenti cruda indigesta et agrestis 
indoles." C. H. Heyne. 

4 So also in an old Irish version of the story of the Gospel. See Sat. 
Rev., July 2nd, 1887. 



lai C ue C of tal ^ ut *kis is not all that Myths have to tell. Apart from 
myths the interest that attaches to the parallelism presented by 
the folklore of races widely distant and utterly different in 
most respects, and apart from the interesting way in which 
folklore mirrors the habits of thought and feeling in a 
primitive age, it incidentally furnishes an insight into the 
growth of civilization and chronicles its successive stages. 
culture To this head may be referred the " Culture legends " with 
legends. w hi c h we meet in the legendary periods of various countries. 
Unable to comprehend the organic growth of their culture, 
whether material, moral or religious, the ancestors of the 
Greek and the Italian alike attributed many of their 
institutions to individual heroes or gods, around whom, 
in consequence, a halo of veneration has gathered in the 
minds of men. 

Jf h pJome n - d The m y th of Prometheus belongs to that class. Among 
the highly interesting features that this legend l contains, are 
the services rendered by this descendant of the Titans to 
suffering mankind. They are recounted in a memorable 
passage of ^Eschylus's Prometheus Bound* The god 
is represented as teaching men architecture, astronomy, 
writing, medicine, and the art of working in metals. 3 The 
poet doubtless here adds new features to the original 
legend. To the earliest version probably belongs the story 
of this hero stealing fire in a hollow tube from the father 
of the gods for the benefit of mortals : 

vap6r)K07r\yp<j>Tov Se 

jcAoTraiav, SiSaaKaXos 
/fy>OTOts Trecfrrjve KOI /xeyas 

For example, his creation of men out of earth and water (Apollodor. 
i. 7, i) and his advice to Deucalion to build a ship (Apollodor. i. 7, 2). 

2 Lines 441-506 (Dindorf). 

3 Cf. the passage from Moschion quoted by Stobseus, from which some 
lines are cited in Ch. I., p. 5. 

4 Ibid. 109. <l I obtained by stealth the source of fire, stored away in 
a fennel stalk ; (that little spark) which has proved to mankind the teacher 
of every art and their great resource." (PALEY, transl.). The speaker, 
Prometheus, seems to regard the pith as tinder. The modern Greeks 
use fennel as a means of transferring fire. 


In all probability we have embodied here the discovery 
of the fire-drill which marked an epoch in the history of 
the human race. 1 

Under -the same category of legendary personages whose J 
names are associated with the growth of civilization, falls 
the Asiatic immigrant, Cadmus. This name, too, formed 
a centre around which numerous legends crystallized. 
Many of them are purely fanciful, but they are all full of 
interest, as suggesting the quarter from which, as modern 
research has shown, many elements of European civiliza- 
tion have been derived. Greek writers are unanimous in 
regarding him as a Phoenician by birth ; and certainly 
the customs and institutions imported by him are just 
those which are now commonly credited to the Phoenician 
race. He introduced from Egypt or Phoenicia an alphabet 
of sixteen letters. 2 He was the first to work the mines 
of Mount Pangaeus in Thrace, and the Phoenicians, as we 
know, excelled in the art of mining. From him, thinks 
Herodotus, Melampus learnt the worship of Dionysos, 
which bears traces of an Oriental origin. 8 These legends ^ 
are specimens of a common class which embody wide- cou 
spread movements in persons and ascribe the foundation 
of institutions to individuals. The heroes who form their 
central figures are probably to be ranged with the Egyptian 
Toth, the Athenian Daedalus, and other reputed benefactors 
of the human race. 

1 The Indian tradition relating to Agni, the fire-god, bears some re- 
semblance to the above story. The gods chose one of themselves to live 
on earth, an immortal among mortals Agni, a friend to men. Born of 
the skybillows (the clouds), he came first down to earth as lightning, and 
when he again disappeared, Mataric. van, half god, half man, brought him 
back to men, to the Bhrigu (4>Aryuai). Ever since then the Bhrigu can 
bring him back again. In many hymns he is celebrated as the child of 
the two pieces of wood, who are called his parents. A. Kaegi, Der 
Rigveda, p. 50. npop.r)6cvs is probably to be equated with the Sanskrit pra- 
inantha, or fire-drill. A Zeus npo/zai/0fuy, was worshipped at Thurii. Cf. 
the verb manth^ used to express the motion of the hand in the operation 
of kindling fire. See A. Kaegi, note 121. and A. Kuhn, Die Herabk:tnft 
des Feuers, p. 36. 

* Herodot. v. 58 ; Diodor. iii. 67, v. 57. 

5 Herodot. ii. 49. Cf. Eurip., Bacchce, 181. 

The evi- f he sources of evidence on which we have hitherto 

dence of 

Arch s i c - al dwelt may perhaps appear too vague and impalpable to 

oiogy. serve as a basis for a reconstruction of early society in 

Greece and Italy. We possess, however, testimony of a 

more concrete character, by which we are enabled to 

Recent correct our conclusions. The last fifty years have witnessed 

coveries. an important advance in the study of Classical Archae- 

ology, in the more technical or narrower sense of the term. 

Greece. The success that attended Schliemann's lifelong devotion 

to the pursuit of investigations at Troy, Mycenae, Tiryns 

and Orchomenos, 1 communicated an important impulse to 

the explorers of classic sites ; for while a few of his 

conclusions have from time to time been reversed or 

revised by later discoveries, he achieved results of the 

utmost importance. His work has been carried on by 

Dr. Tsountas, and every year adds fresh acquisitions to 

the stores of prehistoric Archaeology. 

itaiy. Q ne O f t h e mos t fascinating fields of study opened up 

dwellings. ^ es m ^e region of the Po, where the lake- dwellings of 
the Terremare have been brought to light. These re- 
markable structures are by no means limited to Italy, for 
they are to be found, either isolated or grouped together, 
in both hemispheres, in countries as widely separated as 
the Indian islands, Asia Minor, Colchis, Poland, Mecklen- 
burg, Bavaria, Austria, France, Switzerland and Britain. 
Their origin and the character of their occupants are not 
easily determined, but doubtless they possessed many 
features in common with the lake-dwellings that have 
been seen and described by geographers, for example, 
among the Aryan Paeonians. The historian Herodotus 
thus describes their manner of living: 

iKpi'a cVi aravpw vij/rjXuv e'&uy/xeva Iv (JLtvr) eor^Kc rfj Xipvy, t<ro&ov 
CK rfjs ^Treipov arcti^i/ e^ovra /xwj yt^itpr)' TOVS Se (rravpovs TOVS 


/xera 8e, vofjuo xpew/xei/ot taracrt TOiaiSc' Ko/uojres c ovpeos, 

1 The results are recorded in his works, Mycenae, 1878, fltos, 1880, 
Orchomenos, 1881, and Tiryns, 1886. 


TO) ovvofj.d <TTI "QpflrjXos, Kara ywai/ca CKaornqv 6 -ya/u,o>v rpcis oravpovs 
aycrat 8e CKCIOTOS av^vas yvcatKas. oiKV(ri 8e TOIOVTOV rpoTrov, 
KaoTos CTTI TWV iicptW KaXvpys T ev fl SuuTaTai, Kal fluprjs 
Sia TWV uepuav Kara) <f>pov(rrys s TTJV XifjivrjV TO. Se VT/TTUZ 
TraiSia 8eo(7i roi) TroSos (TTrapTw, /XT) KaraKuAicr^ 8t/Matvoi/T* rotrrt 

This, at any rate, is tolerably clear, that their occupants 
resorted to this expedient for the sake of safety, and so 
keenly was the necessity of some such precaution felt, that 
in dry countries marshes were artificially constructed as a 
refuge from the attacks of wild beasts and wilder men. 

There is no reason to suppose that the lake-dwellings of 
the Terremare were unique as regards Italy. However that habitants 
may be, the pile-dwellings in the Terremare are replete with 

interest. Until recently the descent of the occupants has the main< 
been open to doubt. Pigorini and Strobel had ascribed 
these dwellings to the Celts. But Pigorini recanted his 
opinion and confessed his inability to trace the racial 
connection. That they were mainly Italic by extraction 
was regarded by Helbig and Nissen 2 as well established, 
though there may have been an admixture of an earlier 

1 v. 16. " Platforms supported upon tall piles stand in the middle of the 
lake, which are approached from the land by a single narrow bridge. At 
the first the piles which bear up the platforms were fixed in their places 
by the whole body of citizens, but since that time the custom which has 
prevailed about fixing them is this : they are brought from a hill called 
Orbelus, and every man drives in three for each wife that he marries. 
Now the men have all many wives apiece ; and this is the way in which 
they live. Each has his own hut, wherein he dwells, upon one of the 
platforms, and each has also a trapdoor giving access to the lake beneath ; 
and their wont is to tie their baby children by the foot with a string to 
save them from rolling into the water. They feed their horses and their 
other beasts on fish. . . ." (RAWLINSON, transl.) 

For an exactly similar description of life on the marshes of the Nile, 
see Heliodorus, &thiopica, i. 1 1. According to Marco Polo (p. 330) a 
similar practice obtained on the coast of Hadramaut. For the differences 
between the lake-dwellings of the Po and those in Germany, see Helbig, 
Die Italiker in der Poebene, p. 44. 

2 Helbig, Die Italiker in der Poebene, pp. 40, 41 ; Nissen, Das Templum, 
p. 99. The latter thinks that the Italians, on their immigration into the 
Apennine Peninsula, halted on the plain of the Po, and there laid the 
foundations of their peculiar national development. 


population of whom the Ligurians were survivors. 1 
Professor Ridgeway 2 attributes the pile dwellings altogether 
to the Ligurians. 

To turn to their occupations and habits, they apparently 
practised husbandry, cultivated the vine and paid more 
attention to cattle-rearing than to the chase. In the matter 
of food, weapons and personal cleanliness they probably 
stood upon the same level as the Germans so vividly 
portrayed by Tacitus in his Germania? 
wealth of If positive proofs of the existence of pile-dwellings in 

material in 

Greece. Greece itself are wanting, in other material Greece is 
remarkably rich, and it is to Greece that the attention of 
investigators has been principally directed. Archaeology 
furnishes abundant evidence there of the gradual growth of 
civilization from a low level to the eminence that it after- 
wards attained. 

Pausanias. Happily, the traveller Pausanias's records of his tours 
through Greece in the first century of our era are still 
extant, and his book sheds a flood of light on the relics of 

Relics of barbarism that survived to his day. Such, for example, are 
the blocks of wood which are frequently referred to in his 
narrative. They hardly rise above the fetishes of the 

stones. modern negro. 4 As the native of the South Pacific islands 
will bring offerings of food to a block of pumice-stone, 
which he regards as the god of wind and waves, so the 
Thespians in Greece worshipped a stone named Eros. 5 As 
the African rubs his fetish stone with ochre, so the faces of 
the gilded Dionysi at Corinth were smeared with cinnabar, 
and the superstitious man described in Theophrastus's 

1 Kretschmer, Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache, 
Gottingen, 1896, p. 43. Similar strata of previous populations were the 
Siculi in Sicily, the Etruscans in Italy, the Iberians in Spain, and the 
Picts in Britain. 

2 The Early Age of Greece, vol. i., p. 355. 

3 Helbig, Die Italiker in der Poebene, p. 41. 

4 A. Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion, pp. 303, 304. See De Brosses 
Du Ctilte des Dieux Fetiches, 1760, p. 150. 

5 A. Lang, Ibid,, p. 275. 


Characters would anoint the sacred stones with oil. 1 
Indeed, instances of such fetishes and the customs 
connected with them might be multiplied in plenty. 
"Among all the Greeks," says Pausanias, "in the oldest 
times rude stones were worshipped in place of statues." It 
may be added that these were to the very last regarded 
with the deepest reverence as possessing a sanctity superior 
to that of the masterpieces of after ages. 

The same author's writings reveal to us the gradual T h f h J Uge 
process by which the statues of Greek gods developed from g" r "j h of 
these rude blocks to the works of art of the palmy days of statuar y- 
Greece, the like of which history has not again to show. 
To the anthropologist the whole question of their progress 
is profoundly interesting from many points of view. It 
affords conclusive evidence of the rude, nay savage, state 
that marked the earliest history of the most cultured races 
of mankind. Thus, as we see from the pages of Pausanias, 
the earliest idols were mere blocks of wood and stone. But 
in Greece, as in Egypt, the sculptor was hampered by 
religious restrictions, for primitive thought flowed in well- tism * 
worn channels. These limitations were in time broken 
through, and a life-like expression was given to the statues 
of Greek deities. The successive stages of progress from 
shapeless blocks to shapely statues may be traced by the aid 
of such collections as that arranged in chronological order 
in the archaeological museum at Cambridge. 

First, in order of development, appear the rude stones, f dest 
the " oldest gods," as Pausanias calls them. Under this 5, e d 4" ru de 
category would have fallen the large stone which, as J{JJ*' ol 
tradition told, had been swallowed and disgorged by 
Cronos. It was preserved in the precincts of the Oracle 
at Delphi. The next step was to express the attributes of 
the deity. This was accomplished by sculpturing an image 
of the head, perhaps to denote the intellectual qualities. 

' A. Lang, Ibid., p. 274. Cf. ('.ranger, The Worship of the Romans, 
p. 145. 


ment of 

Blocks of 




The evi- 
dence of 

" Aryans 
not pure 

Hence arose the terminal bust, which for religious reasons 
remained in fashion long after the art of sculpturing the full 
figure was brought to perfection. 

Such idols are particularly interesting from another stand- 
point, as illustrating the gradual adoption of various material 
to work upon. First appear the rude objects in stone, of 
which mention has already been made. Next in the ascend- 
ing scale occurs the wooden idol, a rude representation of 
some beast-headed god or goddess. These zoomorphic 
figures have the shape of the lower animals or the head 
and neck alone. 1 Such are the horse-headed Demeter of 
Phigalia, the cuckoo Hera, the Artemis with the fish's tail, 
the Zeus with the three eyes, productions which forcibly 
recall the pictures to be found on the walls of sacred caves 
among the Bushmen. 2 The adoption of bronze marks a 
third epoch in the history of the development of the Greek 
idol. The final stage was reached in the employment of 
marble and the combination of gold and ivory, which was 
seen to perfection in the Athene of Pheidias. Such were 
the successive steps in the growth of the statue of the 
Greek gods, but the development extended over a long 
period of time. Although the advance from these rude 
objects in wood and stone to the anthropomorphic works 
in marble or gold and ivory was immeasurable, yet the 
oldest representations retained their original sanctity ; Zeus 
Kappotas, the fetish stone of the Argives, was as holy 
an object as the Zeus of Pheidias. 

We pass on to the last source of evidence that calls for 
mention. The argument from analogy necessarily holds an 
important place in an inquiry of this kind, and the study 
of parallel customs in other countries forms an invaluable 
instrument in investigating the history of the earliest ages 
of Greece and Italy. 

To a large extent the nations generally classed as Aryan 
consist at the present time of an amalgam of racial elements 

1 A. Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion, p. 9. 

p. 275. 


and must have lost some of their original characteristics. 
However that may be, the pure Aryan element sustained 
an important role in moulding the institutions and shaping 
the destinies of Europe. It impressed itself deeply upon the 
races with whom it came into contact, first colliding and 
intersecting, then intermingling and combining with them. 

What light may be thrown by the customs of one country 
upon those of another may be seen, for example, in Grimm's 
Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer. The author has traced to their 
common source in the classic periods of Greece and Rome, 
or even in an earlier age, many medieval institutions, usages 
and beliefs which live on still in modern Germany. 

But the analogy of India is perhaps the most pertinent 
of all, because of its wealth of material and its conservative son > 
character, to which we owe the preservation of a large 
number of interesting customs. The learned treatise by 
Zimmer, Altindisches Leben^ reveals the remarkable re- 
semblances that exist between India, on the one hand, and 
Greece and Italy on the other. No less valuable are Leist's 
Gr&co-italische Rechtsgeschichte^ Altarisches Jus gentiiim? and 
Altarisches Jus civile? Dealing mainly with the rise of legal 
institutions, and marked by a clearness and lawyer-like 
precision, they serve to show what a vast field India opens 
up to the anthropologist. 

But this is not all. India, while presenting many 
parallels, is also valuable by way of contrast, as illustrating 
the case of a nation stopping short in its development and 
lagging behind in the march of civilization. For while the f e v n e { op - 
Indian remained stationary, stunted and stereotyped, the 
Greek and the Roman, each after his own fashion, attained 
to a high pitch of perfection. 

Nor are savage races without their use in an investiga- 
tion of this kind. It has, indeed, sometimes happened that 
too much stress has been laid upon the evidence of savage Savage 
customs ; whilst ethnological psychology, as it is called, race8 

1 Berlin, 1879. Jena, 1884 and 1889. Jena, 1892, 1896. 


how far involves us in the most intricate, if not insoluble problems. 

evfd f eic a e s But they need not detain us here. Whether the first 
men were like existing savages, whether we are to recog- 
nize in the savages of the present day a resemblance to 
the first ancestors of our race, whether their superstitions 
represent the earliest phases of the mythology and religion 
of the Aryan or Semitic races, on these points it is not 
necessary to dogmatize. Still, this does not imply that the 
savage has nothing to tell which may help us to understand 
the anomalies existing in the civilization of those races which, 
in most respects, are centuries in advance of him. Some- 
times a custom found on Greek or Italian soil, viewed in its 
isolation, has baffled comprehension until it has become 
intelligible in the light of practices observed by rude races 
of the present day. The solution of the point will appear 
still more conclusive if, as often happens, a mean term can 
be discovered, such as the retention of the usage among 
unprogressive classes of people in a civilized country. The 
value of the testimony derived from races who are still in 
the savage state will become evident as we proceed. We 
may conclude this chapter with one illustration. It relates 
to a curious custom that obtained in Sparta, the most 
conservative of Greek states. The tradition is preserved in 
the legends relating to the mystical goddess, the Taurian 
Artemis. When Iphigeneia and Orestes returned from 
Tauris (the modern Crimea), they brought back with them 
the image of the goddess of that region. Accustomed to 
identify foreign deities with those of native origin, the 
Athenians admitted her to their Pantheon and, under the 
name of the Brauronian Artemis, her cult was established in 
Attica. Ultimately the worship of the goddess found its 
way to Sparta. There, with the appellation Artemis Orthia, 
her worship took deep root, and was attended by the follow- 
ing observances, as described by Pausanias. But the 
historian shall speak for himself: 

Kai crfyicrw em TOVTOJ yiVerat \oyiov at/xart dvOpwTTMV TOV 
ai/xdcrcrcti/' Ovopevov Sc OVTLVO. 6 K\vjpo<s eVeXa/x/Saye, AvKOvpyos /ucTt^aX 


cs ras cVt rots c^)T//Jots /xuo-Tiyas, tyurarXafOi re ourws uvOpoiiraiV ai/xart 
6 /?o>/A09. 'H 8c icptia TO ^oavoi/ e^owa irtfrunv ft 

That this extraordinary rite was observed among the Mandans, 
Hottentots, and Australian aborigines is well known. 2 But 
the story may possess a deeper significance. The precise 
import of the custom is not easy to determine positively. 
Pausanias himself, following an ancient tradition, avers that 
it is a survival of human sacrifice which was practised at 
Tauris, the original seat of the worship of the Brauronian 
Artemis, and he relates a story which accounts for the change. 
Dr. Frazer dissents, and sees in it merely an ordeal or 
purifying ceremony which youths underwent on attaining to 
manhood. He supports this view with facts and parallels 
drawn from many parts of the globe. It may be, however, 
that Pausanias has some truth on his side. Artemis was the 
goddess of death. It is an attractive supposition that we 
have here another of the substitutes for human sacrifice which 
are often met with in Italy as well as in Greece. In the 
worship of Bellona the priests made incisions on their 
shoulders, and carried drawn swords in their hands, grasping 
them by the blade. 3 Their blood was sprinkled upon the 
image of the goddess, and used in the sacrifice. It is possible, 
therefore, that the custom was retained as a symbol of a 
former reality. No longer is a life required ; blood appeases 
the goddess of death. 

1 iii. c. xvi. "Thereupon they were bidden by an oracle to wet the 
altar with human blood. A man upon whom the lot fell was sacrificed, 
but Lycurgus changed the custom into that of scourging the lads, and so 
the altar reeks with human blood. The priestess stands by them holding 
the wooden image." (FRAZER, transl.) 

2 Cf. A. Lang, Myth, Ritual and Religion, p. 270. 
a Lactant. i. 21. 




The ALTHOUGH our main object is to trace the development of 
SviHzation thought in Greece and Italy in a Prehistoric Age, yet we 
and italic cannot altogether dispense with a discussion of the material 
side of their civilization. For these external aspects of 
Greek and Italian life form, as it were, a background to the 
picture of primeval barbarism, and, moreover, bear an 
intimate relation to the ideas of the two races. Therefore, in 
order to comprehend clearly the position that these races or 
their ancestors occupied in the path of civilization, and their 
connection with other branches of the human race, it will be 
well at the outset to state approximately the point of time at 
which the Aryans appear upon the scene of the world's 

The To ascertain the period at which they first present them- 

impie- selves to view two methods may be employed. We may 
appeal to the evidence of Geology and Anthropology (in the 

ornaments, stricter sense of that term), and see what material was used 
for implements, weapons and ornaments, so far as the 
explorations of dwellings, tombs and other ruins are able to 

The Ages enlighten us. The testimony of Geology and Anthropology 

of Stone, i 1 t 'it 

Bronze, concurs in showing that, as a rule, countries and races widely 
separated from each other passed in succession through the 
same stages of development, the Ages of Stone, of Bronze, and 
of Iron. Not that all races, without exception, follow this 
exact order, for from a variety of causes the progress of some 
races and countries has been arrested, diverted, or modified. 
Dr. Tylor ! has recently shown that in Tasmania the Palaeo- 

1 Report of the British Association, 1900, p. 897. 


lithic Age lasted till the English colonization, and so passed 
directly into the Iron Age. But such cases are exceptional, and 
a general survey of the course of civilization establishes the 
following law : the higher the civilization the more rapid is 
the development. 

The remotest point in human history of which we possess h ssive c ~ 
any trustworthy knowledge is the Stone Age. Sffa- m 

This embraces three periods, the earliest, when animals 
which arc now extinct lived on this planet, and roughages: IA 
weapons of stone were in use. The middle period is that to thic or 
which the name of the Reindeer Age has been given, when unground 
graving and modelling were introduced. The next period, re e y-o" r the 
namely the Neolithic or ground-stone Age, marks an im- 

portant advance. fton? 4 

The available evidence for the Palaeolithic Age shows that Life in the 
at that period the standard of attainment in the arts of life fiji" " 
was a low one. Weapons and instruments were made of period< 
unground stone or bone or horn, and differed but little from 
each other. Animals which were afterwards unknown, the 
mammoth, the cave bear, the hyena, roamed at will in the 
aboriginal forests of Europe, and disputed the supremacy of 
man. Hunting and fishing furnished the chief means of 
subsistence. No houses were built, and caves or overhang- 
ing cliffs afforded the only shelter; no burial rites were 
practised ; no pottery was used. Altogether, the conditions 
of life probably corresponded, roughly speaking, to the state 
of the Fenni, a German race, depicted by Tacitus : 

Mira feritas, foeda paupertas ; non arma, non equi, non penates ; 
victui herba, vestitui pelles, cubile humus. Sola in sagittis spes, quas, 
inopia ferri, ossibus asperant. 1 

Yet with all this Palaeolithic man especially in the middle 
or Reindeer period afforded indications of the possession 
of an artistic instinct little in keeping with his sordid 

1 Cicrm. i. 46. " They are distinguished by a wonderful fierceness, a dis- 
gusting poverty ; they have no arms, no horses, no household gods ; they 
feed on grass, they clothe themselves with skins and sleep on the ground. 
Their only hope lies in their arrows, which, for want of iron, they point 
with bones." 


surroundings. The rude sketches discovered on ivory of 
human beings present a curious anomaly with the presumed 
conditions of that age. Such relics had been brought to 
light in Europe, and baffled the comprehension of investi- 
gators, till it was found that races of the present day, in 
other respects backward and unprogressive, display an 
artistic power of a high degree. 

Neolithic* ^e transi^ 011 to the Neolithic Age marked an important 
A e e - step forward. Unlike his predecessors, Neolithic man 
ground and polished his weapons and implements ; he bred 
animals ; he cultivated plants ; he achieved a rudimentary 
knowledge of the arts of baking, grinding, and weaving ; and 
he buried his dead. Thus in most respects the Neolithic Age 
surpassed the Palaeolithic, but, as will be seen presently, the 
aesthetic instinct remained in abeyance or disappeared from 
view during that period. 

Ilyans ap- ^he ev id ence * s conclusive in favour of referring the earliest 

fimt?me he Aryan culture in the main to the Neolithic Age, but at a stage 

Ne^fthic when copper was beginning to be known. The transition 

period. rom the Paleolithic to the Neolithic Age is involved in 

obscurity. That the Neolithic culture was introduced by an 

influx of new inhabitants appears probable. Dr. Schrader's 

opinion, based upon a close study of linguistic, archaeological, 

and ethnological evidence, is of the utmost weight in this 

connection. He conjectures 1 that somewhere, perhaps on 

the border of Asia and Europe, the Aryans formed one 

people, and spoke one and the same speech. Under the influ- 

ence of the oldest civilizations of the East, they exchanged 

Palaeolithic for Neolithic conditions. This, however, as the 

author himself observes, is incapable of proof. 

uufstone ^^ e Stone Age has left its impress upon language in various 
language ways. That the original hammer was made of stone 
m/th- (probably differing but slightly from the axe and the hatchet) 
olo * y - is indicated by the following group of words ; the Sanskrit 
dgwan, (i) "stone," (2) "thunderbolt," the Greek 

1 Reallex., p. 825. 


"anvil," 1 the Old High German hamar, which in Old Norse 
still bears the meaning of " rock," the Old Slovenic kamem, 
"stone," and probably the English and German "hammer." 
Nor is mythology silent upon the point ; the chief gods in 
various myths are armed with the hammer ; the Indian 
Indra wields the dynan, the Greek Zeus the a/c^ow, and the 
Scandinavian Thor the hammer. 

These conclusions derive additional weight from the Jg>ri C pre " 
evidence of prehistoric archaeology. Survivals of the use of 
stone are found from time to time in various parts of the 
globe. From the tombs at Mycenae Dr. Schliemann brought 
to light stone arrow-heads which were found lying side by 
side with rich and artistic objects of gold. In Asia Minor, 
upon the supposed site of ancient Troy, he made the discovery 
that a people who used stone implements succeeded a people 
who used bronze. In Italy instances abound. Reference 
has already been made to the use of stone implements in 
religious ceremonies in that country long after the use of 
metal became general. The reason for the continuance is 
not far to seek. It was dictated by a feeling of conservatism, 
which is specially potent in the domain of religion, and aimed 
at the preservation of the time-honoured traditions of the 
Roman in all their integrity. Such was the use of the 
hatchet by thefet?a/es, the well-known college of priests, at 
the conclusion of a treaty with an enemy. In such cases 
custom prescribed the use of a stone instrument (si/ex). 

This view of the survival of stone far into the age of metal In 
is reinforced by the testimony of history. We learn from 
Herodotus that some of the soldiers in Xerxes's expedition 
against Greece were armed with weapons of stone. Nay, 
among some German and Italic races the use of stone has in 
isolated cases come into contact with the use of gunpowder. 

The introduction of the metals marks a departure of the 
highest importance. It exerted a profound influence upon 

1 Cf. Hesiod., Theog. 722 and 724. XU\K(OS UK^V ovpavuBtv 
perhaps a reference to a meteoric stone. 


the growth of culture, and suggests some reflections of 
surpassing interest. First of all, we are led to inquire as to 
t ^ le source whence metals reached the Aryans; and the 

invention, evidence points to the East, the home of mechanical con- 
trivances. No doubt some sporadic attempts were made 
upon European soil to utilize the metals, but generally 
speaking the movement probably originated outside the 

The borders of Europe. The derivation of the practices from the 

evidence of 

m x th - East is suggested by myth. Many legends relating to 
metallurgy lend colour to the idea that Europe owed its 
knowledge of the art of smelting and working in metal to 
previous strata of population, but whether these strata were 
Eastern or European, is a matter of uncertainty. The inven- 
tion of the art of smelting was popularly ascribed to various 
mythical personages. Such were the Dactyli of Mount Ida in 
Phrygia, and the Telchines, who made the sickle of Cronos 
and the trident of Poseidon. Both groups of these fabulous 
beings have been pronounced to be Phoenician, perhaps with 
insufficient reason. Such also were the Curetes and the 
Cabiri, with whom the Dactyli were identified, mystic divini- 
ties, who figure in various parts of the ancient world. All 
these were invested in the popular imagination with super- 
natural powers ; they were sorcerers or envious demons, 1 or the 
originators of formulae of incantation. 2 When it is borne in 
mind that in Greece, as in other countries, previous in- 
habitants were often credited by their successors with super- 
natural powers, and became transformed by the popular 
fancy into giants, elves or fairies, there is reason to think 
that in these legendary beings dim reminiscences survive of 
previous occupants of the country. 3 But whether they were 
only an earlier stratum or of Eastern descent it is impossible 

1 Eustath. ad Horn., p. 941, and Suidas on 

- The superstitious when seized with sudden fright would ward off the 
evil influence by pronouncing the names of the Dactyli. Pint., DC fa:, in 
orb. Lun. 30. 

* By a similar identification of the metallurgist and the magician, the 
Greek Fire-god Hephaistos was the maker of the tcgis which possessed a 
magic influence. Cf. 1 Had xviii. 417-421. 


to determine positively, although there is evidence which 
may help towards a decision upon the point. 

It has been shown by R. Andree l that a knowledge of the 
art of mining is not confined to civilized races. This state- 
ment is borne out by classical traditions relating to the I?*| e k 8 ward 
Chalybes 2 and Tibareni, 3 whose dwelling-place lay between The 
the Black Sea and the Caspian, and who, though in other ?df5X. of 
respects unprogressive, from an early time were credited 
with remarkable skill in the production of steel. Nor is 
evidence wanting of such knowledge in the North of Europe * 
and in the Iberian peninsula at an early time. 5 

But another explanation is possible. The fame enjoyed 
by the Phoenicians in this branch of industry has already ST 
been discussed. In antiquity they were credited with the 
invention of mining operations. Many of the sites on the 
Mediterranean, 6 which they occupied, retain traces of exten- 
sive exploration by Phoenician miners. Dr. H. Lewy finds 
in the word 'Icnravia, " Spain,'' the same root as the Hebrew 
stipan, to " dig " or " mine." The Phoenicians are known to 
have exploited minerals in the silver-producing region 
south-eastern Spain. Elements of the same word to/an, 
to " dig," 7 probably survive in the name of 2tyi/o?, one of 
the Cyclades, where gold and silver mines were found. 8 
The name Te^icrr] also suggests a Semitic connection. One 
place bearing this name was situated in the country of the 
Bruttii, and traces of copper mines have been discovered 
there. 9 Tamassos occurs in Cyprus, and is also rich in 
ore. 10 The name has doubtless been correctly explained by 
Grasberger 11 to mean " melting house." The author does not 
stand alone in this view. Dr. Lewy gives his adhesion. 12 

I Die Metalle bci den NaturvMkern, Leipzig, 1884. - Herod, i. 28. 
:i Exekiel xxvii. 13. 4 Cf. Schrader, Rcallcxikon, p. 69. 

i Cf. Much, Die Kupferzcit in Eiiropu, p. 248. 

II Their mines at Thasos are described by Herod, vi. 47. 
7 Cf. yiifnn, " treasure." 

s Herod, iii. 57 ; J. T. Bent, The Cyclades, p. 38. 

J Strabo, vi., p. 55. 10 Ibid, xiv., p. 684. " Orlsnamen, p. 209. 

12 Cf. Hebrew femes, " melt," from the root inasas. 


In view, then, of the predominance of the Phoenicians as 
miners in the capes and islands of the Mediterranean, it may 
well be that the legends of the Dactyli and the Telchines 
refer to Semitic corporations. 

perhaps But a third explanation is admissible. Dr. Schrader has 
nicians"" pointed out that the Phoenicians on their settlement in 

only intro- * r *i r 

duced new Spain found ready to their hand quantities of silver ore, tor 

methods * J . 

of mining. wn i c h they bartered with the inhabitants. Of these negotia- 
tions Diodorus speaks in the following passage. The writer 
mentions the discovery of ore through a forest fire. The 
conflagration raged for many days (whence the name 
Pyrenees, Trvp being the Greek for fire), 1 and in consequence 
streams of molten silver flowed from the earth. Alive to 
the prospects of wealth, the Phoenicians stepped in : 

rfjs Se rovrov xpias dyvoou/xei/^s irapa rots cyxw/cnois, TOVS ^otvi/cas, 
c/ATTOpicus xpco/xei/ous Ka * T y^yovos /xa^ovras dyopa&iv rov apyvpov /u/cpas 
TIVOS dvTtSdo-cws aXXaji/ <j>opritDV. Ato Srj TOVS <I>oiWas ^eraKO/xt^ovTas 
ets re rryv 'EXXaSa KCU rrjv 'A<rtai/ Kat raXAa Trdvra Wvr) /xcyaXovs irept- 
irXovrovs. 2 

It is not improbable, therefore, that the Phoenicians 
improved upon the primitive methods that they found 
already in vogue, and as a result were enabled to work the 
mines to greater profit. 

The chronological order in which the metal came into use 
has been recorded by Lucretius : 

The three arma antiqua manus ungues dentesque fuerunt 

metaif et kpides et i terr j siluarum fragmina rami, 

et flamma atque ignes, postquam stint cognita primum. 

posterius ferri vis est aerisque reperta. 

et prior aeris erat quam ferri cognitus usus, 

quo facilis magis est natura et copia maior. 3 ' 

1 Cf. Lucret. v. 1252. 

2 V. 35. " As the natives were ignorant of its use, the Phoenicians 
who traded by sea and learnt what had happened, bought the silver by 
giving a trifling quantity of other merchandise in exchange. The 
Phoenicians consequently transported their purchase to Greece, to Asia, 
and to all other nations, and gained great wealth." Cf. Strabo iii., 
p. 147, and Schrader, Reallex., p. 170. 

3 De Nat. Rer., v. 1282. "Arms of old were hands, nails, and teeth, 
and stones, and boughs broken off from the forests, and flame and fire, 


The correctness of this classification was established by 
C. J. Thomsen in his work Ledetraad til Nordisk Oldkyn- 
dighed? Though the principle admits of exceptions, since, as 
will appear in the sequel, these ages of metal overlap, it 
may be adopted as a convenient method of arranging 
archaeological objects. 

That the Aryans before their separation were acquainted 
with one metal is seen from their possession of a word in 
common ; Sanskrit dyas, (i) " metal," (2) " iron " ; the old 
Latin ais (gen. ais-ts), aes, "metal," "bronze," and the JSj for 
Gothic ais. The idea of brightness underlies these words, 
and is also found in the German eisen, "iron"; erz, copper; 
the English iron\ the Latin aurum, gold. 2 The fluctua- 
tion and growth of meaning is discernible in the Latin aes, 
which was used to denote any crude metal except gold and 
silver. In order to distinguish copper from the other metals 
to which it was applied, Cyprium ("of Cyprus") was added to 
aes, because Cyprus was famous for its production. After- 
wards aes bore the meaning of bronze. 3 

The term was doubtless applied originally to raw copper, copper. 
For it has been shown conclusively by M. Much 4 that many 
races in the Neolithic Age in Europe had some acquaintance 
with the art of smelting copper, as is proved by the survival 
of objects, such as weapons, which bear evidence of having 
been smelted. 6 

as soon as they had become known. Afterwards the force of iron and 
copper was discovered, and the use of copper was known before that of 
iron, as its nature is easier to work and it is found in greater quantity. 
(MUNRO, transl^ 

r Kjobenhavn, 1836. 

3 So too, Irish z'arn, iron (from is-arn) ; Welsh haiarn : Corn, hoern ; 
Armor, hoiarn ; A.S. isern; Eng. iron; A.S. ar, bronze ; Eng. ore. The 
same idea is seen in a word which has no etymological connection with 
the above, viz., the Sumerian-Accadian name for bronze, zabar. P. Jensen, 
Zeitungfur A ssyrio logic, i. 255. 

3 Brass, as an alloy of copper and zinc, was hardly known. 

4 Die Kupferzeit in Europa, Jena, 1893. 

Dr. Schrader points out that the commonest classes of copper 
weapons and implements, like the flat axe and the dagger, are just those 
instruments which bear kindred names. Kcallcx.^ p. 491. 


From The list of terms already quoted does not aid us in 

ftwas e discovering the source from which copper was derived in the 

derived, earliest times. For evidence concerning this point appeal 

must be made to another group of words: the Sanskrit 

loha, originally "copper"; the Modern Persian roi, ro ; 

the Old Slovenic ruda, " metal " ; the Latin raudus, a piece 

of brass used as a coin ; T and perhaps the Sumerian urud, 

" copper." Additional weight is lent to this presumption by 

comparing the two words for axe ; the Sanskrit parafti, and 

the Greek vreXe/cu?. These words have been equated with the 

Sumerian balag and the Babylonian-Assyrian pilakku, which 

have the same meaning. To the above consideration may be 

added the evidence furnished by archaeological discoveries in 

what is now assumed, with much probability, to have been 

the European home of the Aryans, namely the south-east of 

the Continent. Taken altogether, language and archaeology 

point to the derivation of copper from the East. 

Bronze. The importation of copper marked an important advance. 

Yet more significant was the discovery of bronze, an alloy of 

copper and tin. During the Bronze Age weapons and 

ornaments of this metal predominate, but, as has been seen, 

not to the entire exclusion of other materials. In Greece and 

Italy, for reasons which will appear in the sequel, the Bronze 

Age lasted for a shorter time than in the North of Europe. 

From The advent of bronze almost certainly found the Aryan 

2ro a nze r races already differentiated from each other, and, generally 

came. speaking, already settled in their separate abodes. Here 

again we are led to inquire from what quarter this metal 

made its way into Europe. The answer seems to be the 

same as in the case of copper, and this opinion is based 

upon the evidence of language, archaeology, and mythology. 

Evidence There exists a magic hymn in Accadian-Sumerian to the 

language, fire-god Gibil. 3 He is there addressed as the mixer of 

1 Gloss, Philox., xaA*6s dvepyacrros, rudus. 

2 See F. Lenormant, Les noms de Pairain et du outers, Trans, of the 
Soc. of Bibl. Arch. vi. 346. Cf. F. Hommel, Die Vorsemit. Kulturen, 
pp. 277, 409, and Schrader, Rcallex., p. 200. 


copper and tin. In the Assyrian version it reads as 
follows : 

Sa eri u anaki muballilsunu atta sa sarpi hunisi 

Of copper and tin their mixer (art) thou, of silver (and) gold 
mudammiqsunu atta. 
their purifier (art) thou. 1 

The testimony of language points in the same direction. 
When we bear in mind that, while races which evidently 
employed bronze had no distinctive name for it, and that the 
three metals, bronze, copper and tin, are distinguished in the 
Sumerian-Accadian vocabulary by the names zabar, urudu, 
and anna, we ought doubtless to look to that quarter for the 
introduction of this metal among Aryans. This conclusion 
becomes irresistible when it is found that these people are 
proved to have obtained tin from the land of Midian, and 
copper both from the natives of the Caucasus, and also from 
Makan, in Arabia. 2 But, whatever may have been the source 
from which bronze was derived, it is certain that its intro- 
duction marked an epoch in the history of civilization, and 
imparted a powerful impetus to the development of technical 
skill. But it took a long time for bronze to supersede 
stone. This is proved by the co-existence of stone and 
bronze implements, as, indeed, was to be expected at a time 
when the metals were scarce. With the growth of civiliza- 
tion, however, and the increase of wealth, metals became 
more common, and the advantages that they offered came to 
be more generally recognized. Reference has already been 
made to Schliemann's discovery in Greece of bronze and 
stone objects in juxtaposition, while Helbig has shown that 
the same is true of Italy. 

The Iron Age was now at the door, and its advent marked iron. 

1 The Accadian version runs : 

Urudu anna XiXibi zae men guskin kubabbar kurdgabi zae 
Copper tin their mixer thou art, gold silver their purifier thou 

- Kor a full discussion of this point see Schrader, Reallex., pp. 200, 201. 

9 6 


a most important advance in the use of metals. The poet 
Hesiod has chronicled the change : 

rots 8' ty xoAKca /jti> rev^ca, ^aA/ceoi Se TC oiKot, 
w 8' dpyaZpVTo' /Ae'Xas 8' OVK covce <n'8i;pos. 

vagueness But as to the introduction of iron much uncertainty pre- 
termited V ai Is. That iron was known in Egypt at least as early as 

to denote 111 t_ 

iron. 3500 B.C. is considered certain. It appears probable that in 

the structure of some words for iron there survives an 

element of the Sanskrit dyas, and the Latin aes? As to 

whence Greece, the introduction of iron in legendary lore is attributed 

duced t ^ e Dactyli f Mount Ida in Phrygia, of whom mention 

Evidence ^ as ^ een m ^ G m a previous passage. The tradition is 

of myth, preserved i n a fragment of an epic poem : 

'JScuoi <pvys avSpes opt'orepoi OIKI' eraiov, 
tts, Aa/xi/a/w-eycvs TC /xeyas KCU vTrepjSios " 

ot TrpwToi r\ vr j v woXv/ttJnos ' 

cvpov ev ovptiyori vdirais locvra <ri8ir]pov' 

1<S irvp T* tyeyKCLV Kai dpiTrpcTrcs epyov cSei 


So far as it is possible to judge from the remains brought 
to light by antiquaries, iron seems to have been rare in the 
Mycenaean period of Greece. When it did arrive it was 
brought from the North and the importation was doubtless 

1 Works and Days, p. 1 50. " These had arms of bronze and likewise 
bronze houses, and with bronze they wrought : but there was not yet dark 

2 This view, however, does not commend itself to M. Much, who 
connects it with the Sanskrit ishird-, and the Greek tfpoy, "strong," 
"sacred." But see Schrader, Reallex., pp. 174, 175. 

3 The Phoronis; cf. Schol. on Apoll., Arg. i, 1126. " Here (or where) 
dwelt sorcerers, Phrygians of Ida, men of the mountains, Kelmis and 
Damnameneus, the great, and Akmon, ingenious servants of Adrasteia 
of the heights. They it was who first discovered the handicraft of 
Hephaistos the wise, violet-coloured (dark) iron, in the woody mountain 
glens, and introduced fire and showed a noble work." Cf. O. Miiller, 
Archaologie der Kunst, 1835, P- 3^- The derivation of o-tfypos is un- 
certain. It has been traced to (i) Sanskrit svid-itd^ "smelted"; (2) 
Si'fir;, 218171^; in the north of Asia Minor, and StSapoCff in Lycia ; (3) Latin 
sidus, Lith. sidabras, German silapar ; (4) Caucas. sido^ "iron." Dr. 
Schrader inclines to (4), and the importance of the Caucasus in the 
history of metals is undoubted. See O. Schrader, Reallex., p. 177. 


due to the Dorians. 1 After their invasion iron came to be 
used in the manufacture of weapons and implements. 

The story of the treaty which Porsena, King of Etruria, Italy 
made with Rome argues for the wide use of iron at that time. 
The victor imposed upon the vanquished Romans a condition 
that iron should be employed for agricultural purposes alone. 2 
Accordingly we are warranted in drawing the conclusion that 
the Romans were acquainted with it at the time of the founda- 
tion of the city. But, as in the case of other metals, the 
transition was only gradual. Bronze was still employed 
for ornaments and handles of weapons, and iron for the 
blades. The slow extension of the use of iron is reflected 
in an interesting manner by language, the faithful mirror 
of stages of civilization and chronicler of its changes. Even 
after the introduction of iron ^aX^ei)?, a "copper-smith" 
became the stereotyped name for blacksmith, 3 and the 
word xa\*6<? continued to be used as a common prefix to 
proper names. 

To the foregoing considerations another may be added. 
In Rome, where, as has been said before, the rules of religious 
ritual were observed to the letter, more matorum, and the 
slightest deviation from the traditional formulae was held 
to impair their efficacy, strict regulations enjoined the use 
of bronze in certain ceremonies. A bronze plough was 
employed in making the first furrow or outline of a city, 
known as sulcus primigenius. The Vestal Virgins were 
commanded to convey fresh fire in a bronze sieve, 4 if by 
some misfortune the sacred fire of Vesta went out. The 
Flamen Dialis, or priest of Jupiter, was obliged to use a 
bronze razor. No iron nails were allowed to be used in the 
Pons Subltcius over the Tiber. 

1 But see Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece i., 549. 

2 Neferro nisi in agri cultu uteretur. Pliny, H.N., xxxiv. 39. 

3 Cf. Odyss. ix. 391 ; Herod, i. 68 ; iv. 200. In Odyss. iii. 432 it is used 
for goldsmith. 

4 Festus, M tiller, p. 106 ; Helbig, Die Italikcr in der Poebene, p. 80. 


9 8 



influence WHEN we considered the environment of the Greek and 


pation. Italic races at an early epoch of their history we arrived at 
the conclusion that their surroundings influenced their social 
and religious life in a marked manner. The same remark 
applies to their occupations in the successive stages of the 
growth of their civilization. But before proceeding to point 
out some features in their character which betray the effects 
of their material civilization, it may be well to indicate 
briefly the salient features of the three periods through which 
they passed. 

The collateral and cumulative evidences furnished by 
scattered allusions in Greek and Latin literature and archae- 
ology point to the existence of three stages in their manner 
of growth, characterized respectively by the pursuit of 
hunting, pasture and agriculture. For the sake of con- 
ven i ence these three periods in their growth may be 

tiSd C . ul " distinguished from each other. But as a matter of fact no 
hard-and-fast line of demarcation can be drawn between 

The transi- these stages. Just as in the case of the Ages of stone, 

tionslow. , . 

bronze and iron, so in the periods when hunting, pasture 
and agriculture prevailed, the transition was slow, one 
period overlapping the other. Faintest of all is the 
boundary between the life of the hunter and the life of the 
herdsman. The evidence for these remote ages is naturally 
scantier than for later times, rendering it doubly difficult 
to delineate the period systematically. So far, then, from 
being strongly marked and clear-cut periods, these stages 
probably occupied several centuries, and glided inperceptibly 
into one another. The lines in Vergil's ^Eneid, where the 


poet describes the contingent of men-at-arms furnished by a 
hill-tribe, suggests the mode of transition from one occupa- 
tion to another in primeval antiquity. They are hardy 
huntsmen from the hills, inhabiting a barren soil : 

" Horrida praecipue cui gens, adsuetaque multo 
Venatu nemorum, duris ^quicola glaebis. 
Armati terram exercent, semperque recentis 
Convectare iuvat praedas et vivere rapto." ] 

That the undifferentiated Aryans were not a race of Hunting. 
savages, of mere nomads and hunters will be admitted by 
everyone who is familiar with the earliest evidences of their 
character. Nevertheless, it is tolerably certain that they 
depended for their subsistence largely upon the chase, and 
that in a yet earlier time, which lies beyond the reach of 
human investigation, hunting furnished the staple article 
of food. However, we are not left without witnesses 
to their habits even in this earlier phase from which they 

The existence of names for certain animals which could 
not have been tamed at so early a time, and doubtless 
were hunted for the sake of food, is substantiated by 
words in Aryan languages which belong to a common 
inheritance bequeathed to them all. Among them appear 
the following : 

Of the names for animals of the reindeer class several are Deer. 
peculiarly interesting, inasmuch as they reveal the feature 
in the beast's appearance which arrested the attention of 
those who saw it for the first time. Such a word is the 
Latin cervus, stag ; here the feature seized upon are the 
antlers ; for cervus is connected with the Latin cornu, the 
Greek /eepa?, and the Sanskrit winga, all of which signify 
" horn." Akin to them are the Old High German hiruz, 
Welsh carw, Old Prussian sirwis, and the Latin carina, 
" keel." 

vii. 746. " Whose people was rugged above other tribes, 
trained to constant hunting in the woods, the ^Equicoli, whose soil was 
stiff and hard. They bear arms when they till the earth, and it is 
ever their delight to heap up the newly-taken booty, and to live on spoil." 


To another group belong the Greek PpevSov 
" stag," Hesych.) and the Messapian ftpevTiov, meaning the 
" stag's head." 

To express the meaning of " boar " are found in Greek 
Ka-rrpos, in Latin aper, in Old High German ebur, in Old 
Slovenic veprt, and in Sanskrit varahd. 

Several words which appear to have been derived from the 
common heirloom of the Aryans indicate that the horse was 
known to them while they were yet undivided. The following 
are of the number : 

Greek tWos (fo/eo?), Latin equus, Sanskrit dqva, Lithua- 
nian arzwa. A common root underlies these words which 
denotes sharpness, and suggests that it was the animal's 
fleetness that caught the eye of the primitive beholder. For 
the same reason the horse came to be regarded as the 
symbol of certain celestial phenomena, like the morning 
star, which was from immemorial antiquity an object of 
superstitious reverence. 1 That the horse was hunted in the 
Palaeolithic Age is well known, and though no positive proot 
is adducibje, it appears likely that the horse was used for 
food by the Aryans during the earliest period that they 
become known to us. 

These animals were hunted for the sake of their hides or 
their flesh. But so far there exists no technical term for the 
chase. 3 To convey the idea of hunting, therefore, an 
expedient was employed, which is a familiar feature of 
early stages of other languages besides Greek and Latin ; 
namely, certain words which bore a general meaning were 
narrowed down and adapted to the particular purpose in 
view. Such are the Greek Qrjpeveiv, from 0jp, " wild beast " ; 
the Sanskrit mrgdyate, " he hunts " ; mrgd, " wild " ; the 
Greek dypevew (aypa) and /cvvijyeTrjs, "huntsman" (KV&V, 
"dog," vrieur6tu, "lead"). Still, in Homer, as in the Rig- 
veda, there are indications to show that game was eaten only 

1 Schrader, Reallex., p. 625. 

2 Similarly no term is to be found for hunting as a branch of industry 
in the Rigveda. A. Kaegi, Der Rigveda, p. 19, and note 44. 


when the flesh of tame animals could not be procured, as in 
the following lines, where in the course of their adventures 
Odysseus and his comrades land on the island of the giant 
Cyclopes : 

'Opcrav 8c VV/A<CU, KoOpat AIDS aiyio^oto, 
ATyas o/Deovcwovs, Iva. SaTrviyo-eiav eratpoi. 1 

Again, in a like emergency, on the Enchanted Isle of the 
sorceress Circe, the same hero stalks a tall antlered stag, 
and bringing his quarry to his sorrowful companions bids 
them satisfy their hunger on the flesh of the beast. 2 But 
these are exceptional circumstances, and judging from the 
tenour of the lines as well as from similar references in 
early literature, and the remains of animals found in the 
pile-dwellings of Northern Italy, the flesh of domestic 
animals was preferred for food. 

Still, hunting is a popular pastime with the Homeric 
heroes, previous to the devotion of the Dorian races to the 
chase. Their love of the pursuit is attested by the Doric 
form for huntsmen, /cvvayo?, in other dialects. In historic 
times the sport had so far gained ground that beasts were 
preserved with a view to indulgence in this amusement, 
special breeds of hounds became renowned, and treatises 
were written on the subject. 

The early knowledge of the art of fishing is shown by the ' a s c h js 
remarkable remains of the lake-dwellings which belong to 
the Neolithic Age, in which fish-bones and copper fishing- 
hooks have been discovered. 3 But apparently the case was the Alps ' 
otherwise in the South, for Dr. Helbig 4 denies the existence ? R "iy n ita" 
of any fishing implements in the pile-dwellings of the Terre- Greece. 
mare on the Po, and Dr. Tsountas 5 speaks to the same 
effect of Tiryns and Mycenae. 

1 Od. ix. 154. "And the Nymphs, the daughters of Zeus, lord of the 
aegis, started the wild goats of the hills, that my company might have 
wherewith to sup." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.} 

2 x. 157. 3 Schrader, Reallex., p. 242. 

4 Die Italiker in der Poebene, p. 1 5. 

5 In 'JL(f)T)(j.cp\s dpxatoXoyiKTj, 'Afljji/j/o-t, 1891, p. 39. See also Schrader, 
Reallex., p. 243. 

The The evidence of the practice of fishing among the Aryans 

evidence of r . 

language, before the series of migrations from the main body set in, is 
of a doubtful nature. Neither do the Aryan languages 
seems to possess in common any words for fish, as is 
evident from a comparison of the vocabularies of representa- 
tive languages, such as the Greek t%0v?, Latin piscis, and the 
Old Slovenic ryba, exhibiting, as they do, a wide difference 
in their formation; nor is there much more agreement in 
respect of expressions connected with the art of fishing, as 
witness the Greek ay/cio-Tpov and the Latin hamus, both of 

literature w ^ich mean " hook." Nor is fishing mentioned, or at any rate 
mentioned as an honourable calling, in the early literatures of 
India, Greece, and Italy. In the Vedas l there is no allusion 
to eating fish, and in Homer the hero dines upon fish only 
when reduced to straits. On the contrary, as if to elevate 
his heroes in the estimation of his hearers, the poet is never 
weary of dwelling upon the mighty meat-banquets of the 
Achaeans, and the eagerness with which they addressed 
themselves to them. 2 Whether the emphasis he lays upon 

Jfthe ause t ^ ie ^ r abstinence was due to a desire of distinguishing the 

prejudice, landsmen, as being endowed with a more heroic cast of soul, 
from the races who lived by the sea and obtained their food 
from that element ; or whether it was caused by a dislike of 
these animals, as is known to have been the case with the 
Caledonii of Britain; 3 or was owing to prohibitions of 
certain forms of food for superstitious reasons, must remain 
a matter of uncertainty. Whatever the reason may have 
been, with an increased knowledge of the sea, and the 
growth of navigation, the art of fishing and the use of fish 
as an article of diet became general. 

me Storal ^ u * wm ^ e hunting may for a long time have sufficed to 
afford the chief means of support, this mode of life gradually 

1 A. Kaegi, Der P.igveda, p. 19 ; Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, pp. 


2 Cf. Herodotus iii. 19, on the 'ixQvotydyoi, or Fish-eaters ; Strabo, 769 ; 

I. von Miiller, Die griechi 'schen Privataltertumer, Miinchen, 1893. 
3 Dio Cass., Epit. Ixxvi. 12. Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 244. 


gave way to a more settled existence. The growth of 
population, the consequent changes in domestic economy, 
the greater complexity of social relations rendered necessary 
an improvement in organization which the savage community 
could not supply. Hitherto primitive expedients sufficed to 
meet the daily wants of the wild inhabitant. In maritime or 
well-watered countries he fished in the stream or among the 
rocks on the beach. In the woods he betook himself to the 
chase, an occupation ever ready to hand, which was exciting 
and demanded but little perseverance. But now he draws 
domestic animals around him, and constitutes himself the 
head of a brute polity. He feeds his herds and flocks on 
spontaneous vegetation, and then in turn he feeds himself on 
their flesh. 1 

To this general law the Aryan ancestor of Greek and Italian 
conformed. However inconclusive the evidence may be with 
regard to the hunting stage in his development, no doubt 
whatever attaches to this second stage, the pastoral period. 
That the Aryans on their first appearance in Europe, at the Ar 
dawn of civilization, were acquainted with pastoral methods 
is clear from a number of names for domestic animals 
employed by the several branches of the race, which point to 
a common origin. 

The general name for cattle is full of interest. Many Evidence 
languages retain in some form the root pac, which recalls the language 
practice of tethering animals. This collective term appears Aryan ^ 
in the Sanskrit pd$u (paca, " band," " fetter "), the Zendfa$u ; tue1 
the Gothic faihu ; the German vieh ; and the English fee. J* opertyt 
The root is probably pag, which is also found in the Latin 
pango, " fasten," pagus, a " district " (a place with fixed 
boundaries), pagina, a "page," paciscor, "bargain"; the 
Greek Tr^i/y/ti, " make fast "; and 7^1/77, "frost." Under 
this category come also the Latin pecus, " a flock," pecunia, 
" money," peculium, " property," for wealth was at that time 
estimated by the number of cattle. 

1 Cf. Newman on the Tartar tribes of the north of Asia, Hist. Sketches i., 
P- 3- 


But some of the words belonging to the vocabulary common 
to the Aryans supply fuller details about the domestica- 
tion of animals. The following groups are relics of the 
pastoral period: The Latin domare, and the Sanskrit dam, 
"tame," "domesticate," the Greek Sa/taXK, "calf," and the 
Welsh dafad. Another group is formed by the Latin vitulus^ 
" calf" ; the Greek traXo?, " bull " 1 ; the last may be a loan 
word, but the Gothic wiprus and the Sanskrit vatsd- should 
doubtless be connected with the above words in Latin and 
Greek. The idea of selection or specialization is frequently 
associated with the idea of cattle. It is not improbable, 
therefore, that in the Latin words egregius (ex, "from," 
grex, " flock "), and the German ausgezeichnet? both meaning 
"distinguished," "excellent" (that is to say, picked from the 
flock) there survives a reminiscence of the pastoral life. 

Upon the subject of the pastoral period archaeology also 
has a word to say. It is stated that the occupants of 
the oldest lake-dwellings, for example in Switzerland, were 
in the main a pastoral people, dependent in but a small 
measure on a system of primitive husbandry. 3 

The number of animals which, judging from the common 
inheritance of words, were domesticated by Aryans, is small, 
but their sparseness is compensated for by their peculiarly 
suggestive character and the part that the animals who 
bore these names played in an age of pristine barbarism. The 
sheep was one of the first to figure among the domestic 
animals. To denote it the Greeks used ofc. and the Romans 
ovis. With these words are rightly equated the names used 
for sheep in Northern Europe : the Lithuanian owls, the old 
Slovenic ovtca and the English ewe. The whole of this class 
of words are related to the Sanskrit dvi. Nor is this all. It 
appears that the collective word pecus and its kindred terms, 
to which allusion has already been made, was at an early 

1 Cf. Chapter x. p. 117. 3 Cf. R. von Ihering, p. 717. 
3 Fr. Ratzel, Geographische Prilfung der Thatsachen uber den Ur sprung 
der Volker Europas, 1900, p. 103 ; Schrader, Reallex., p. 914. 


period appropriated by the sheep. The reason is obvious ; 
it was highly esteemed for its valuable wool, an indispensable 
article in a primitive age, which was not shorn off but 
plucked with the hand. 1 To some races, for instance, the 
Dalmatians (from the Albanian delme y " sheep ") and the 
Caeracates of Gaul (from the Irish caera, " sheep "), the 
sheep gave its name. 2 

But if much store was set upon the sheep, still more 

.... . , . tanceoi 

important a part was played in earl)'- civilization by the ox. the ox. 
The examination of the pile-dwellings of Europe has 
revealed the fact that cattle-breeding dates as far back as 
the Neolithic Age, 3 and that traces remain of the existence 
of oxen both in the ruins of the lake-dwellings of the Po 
and in the tombs of Mycenae. What the precise species 
may have been it is difficult to determine positively. An- J r h e b ly 
tecedently it would seem likely that the small kind native 
to Europe were tamed, when they were amenable to 
domestication during stress of weather or dearth of food. 
Such an hypothesis finds support in the Old Slovenic turu 
and Old Prussian tauris (akin to the Greek and the Latin 
taurus, " bull"), which are still used to denote the wild ox. 
But however that may be, the acquaintance of the un- 
divided Aryans with the ox is placed beyond question by the 
heirloom of words which has descended to the various races 
of the Aryan family. 

The most interesting of all these words is the form which 
appears in the kindred Sanskrit g& 9 the Zend gdo, the 
Greek 01)9, the Latin bos, and the Servian govedof a 
collective name (neuter plural) equivalent to the German 
hornvieh, and the English cattle. Among the Indians, 
Greeks and Italians the ox was held in deep veneration, and 

1 As seen in the Greek TT* KO>, to " shear," " comb," and the Lithuanian 

* Schrader, Reallex., p. 707. 

3 Rutimeyer. Die Fauna der Pfahlbauten der Schweiz, 1861, p. 130. 

4 But the word is nearly universal and of great antiquity. From it is 
derived the Servian govedar, " oxherd." v Cf. the Lettish govs. Great 
Russian govjado, Little Russian hovjado, Cech hovado. See Miklosich, 
Etymologisches Worterbuch, on govendo. 


it imprinted itself upon their civilization. Nowhere was the 
ox more esteemed than in India, where, as occurs again 
and again in the Vedas, the<? (signifying " bull " or " cow " 
indifferently) was regarded as the symbol of welfare, 
blessing and riches. To the Indian it conveyed a meaning 
similar to the " milk and honey " of the Hebrews. From 
the word go sprang several words which obtained a wider 
meaning and are applied to subjects of a wider range than 
the incidents of the life of the herdsman. Such is the word 
gopd t which from signifying " cowherd " came in process 
of time to bear the meaning of king, the iroi^v \au>v of the 
Homeric poets. The same observation is true of the word 
gopayati, which was originally applied to protecting a flock, 
then gradually used to indicate protection of any sort ; while 
the word goshu, a " fighter among the cows," extended its 
meaning to "warrior." Yet another instance is afforded 
by the word gotrd, a hurdle or hedge, which in the earliest 
times was used for an enclosure for cattle, and then for a 
town, until it came to represent the household or family 
living behind its own walls. 

Upon Greece and Italy too the ox left its mark. Some 
features of its influence on life and thought must be dis- 
cussed later ; at this point a reference to the extension of 
its derivatives will suffice. The word appears in povarpofafiov, 
which is used of the earliest system of writing from left to 
right and right to left alternately, and also in such varieties 
as these : /3ou7rat?, a big boy," a " hobbledehoy," @ov\ipia, 
"ravenous hunger," fiovyaios, a "braggart," all of which 
connote the idea of hugeness and monstrosity. The pro- 
minence of the ox in early language appears also in such 
expressions as the proverb, fiovs eVt 7X0)0-077 fieftyKe, 1 "an ox 
has his foot on my tongue," used of those who keep silence 
from some weighty reason, and such phrases as 
/3ovKo\ov/j,at, " I feed myself on hopes." 2 

1 Theog. 813 ; ^sch. Ag. 36. 

2 Cf. Valckenar on Eurip. Hippolytus, 157. 


So, too, in legendary lore. The bos arator, the " ploughing 
ox," l figures in early legends and coins, and according to 
tradition the Samnites represented the ox as the leader of 
their primitive colonies. Nor perhaps shall we be far wrong 
in recognizing in the epithet /SooW?, ox-eyed, i.e. " ample- 
eyed," which is applied by the Homeric poets to the goddess 
Hera and distinguished women, another instance of the high 
estimation in which the ox was held. Again, these poets have 
preserved a record of a time when the ox was the unit of 
wealth and the medium of exchange. They estimate the exchange. 
value of a slave or the price of a wife by the number of beeves 
their sale would bring in . A much- wooed maid is aX<eo-//3ow>5, 2 
because she yields her parents many oxen as presents or 
purchase-money. A skilled slave is worth four oxen, 3 but 
sometimes as many as twenty, as Eurycleia was, the trusty 
servant of Odysseus's family : 

TT;I> TTOTC Aaep-n/s Trpiaro KTcarecroriv colony 
Hp<i)0rjf3r)v T ov(ra.v, tKocra/3oia 8' 
*Icra Se t,iv Kt8vr aXdw riev ev 

Next in importance ranks the swine, for which a word JJJ? n 
exists, in one form or another, among Asiatics as well as 
Europeans. To this class belong the Latin word sAs t the 
Greek u?, the Sanskrit stikard (wild boar), the Old Slovenic 
svMja, the Kurdish %#. Yet, though such words exist in 
many parts of Europe and Asia, the practice of swine- 
breeding marks off the European from the Asiatic by a sharp 
line of demarcation. The aversion of the Semitic races from 
the swine is well known, unless the Babylonians form an 
exception to the rule. 5 However that may be, the Eastern 
branch of the Aryans, as well Indian as Iranian, appear also 

1 Cf. taurus arator, Ovid. Fasti, i. 698. 

2 Iliad xviii. 593 ; Hymn. Ven. 119. 3 7//W xxiii. 705. 

4 Od. i. 430. " And Laertes bought her on a time with his wealth, 
while as yet she was in her first youth, and gave for her the worth of 
twenty oxen. And he honoured her even as he honoured his dear wife 
in the halls.;' ( BUTCHER and LANG, trans!.). Cf. Iliad vi. 236 (bronze 
armour), xxiii. 703 (golden armour). 

5 See Riehm, Handivorterbuch ii. 1462. 


to have been ignorant of the custom. 1 But the same pre- 
judice does not seem to have been entertained by the Aryans 
of Europe. Apparently the wild swine (the Latin aper, the 
Old Slovenic vepri, the Greek /cdTrpos) was domesticated at 
an early time. The evidence of the use of domestic swine is 
clear as regards the prehistoric period, for remains of such 
animals have been found both in the tombs at Mycenae and 
in the pile dwellings of the Po. Nor is evidence of the 
practice wanting in the Stone Age, as the discoveries in 
Scandinavia indicate. 2 The thick forests, with which Europe 
was covered, would furnish food in abundance, especially 
acorns, and this circumstance, combined with the fecundity 
of the swine, 3 would at once recommend it to attention, and 
encourage its domestication. 

The The uses of the horse as an instrument of civilization 4 

attracted the notice of the primitive population of Europe at 
an early period. To the existence of common words for 
horse allusion has already been made. But a further question 
arises, in what quarter of the globe did the Aryans become 
familiar with it ? The East is the natural home of the 
horse. The plateaux of Central Asia afford at once scope 
for its energies, and an abundance of grass for fodder. 
Therefore the horse is highly prized by the Mongolian of the 
steppes. It enables him to tend his sheep and cattle; it 
carries him when he goes to the chase. In time of war his 
fleet courser enables him to scour the plain, for from time 
immemorial the horse has been symbolic of war ; as an 
Eastern sheik, portrayed in the Book of Job, regarded the 

1 Dr. Schrader quotes yElian, De Nat. anim. iii. 3, lv ov're aypiov of/Ye 
fjfitpov fv 'ivdois yevetrdai Xeyet Krfjffias. 

2 Montelius, Die Kultur Schwedens in vorchristlicher Zeit (iibersetzt 
von C. Appel), Berlin, 1885, p. 26. 

3 Quapecude nihil genuit natura fccundius. Cicero. 

4 The horse occupied and occupies a yet more important place in the 
estimation of the inhabitants of the northern steppes and eastern 
plateaux. Hence " the Ottoman ordinances are to this day dated from the 
' Imperial stirrup,' and the display of horsetails at the gate of the palace 
is the Ottoman signal of war. . . . The Turcomans and the Usbeks 
speak familiarly of ' the time of a gallop.' "Newman, Hist. Sketches i. 4. 


horse as the emblem of battle, so the ancient Saxon adopted 
him as his ensign in war. In time of peace it transported 
its owner from place to place, and rendered him independent 
of the soil, to him a liberty dearer than life. The con- 
sequence is that the ox is but slightly esteemed by the 
Oriental in comparison with the horse ; the Turcoman 
despises it, and the Chinese do not generally use milk. 
Upon these grounds it has been usual to place the original its home 
home of the horse in Central Asia, whence he was supposed 
to have made his way into Europe through South Russia 
and Thrace. Natural historians, however, now declare it 
equally at home on European soil. 1 

The domestication of the horse at a later time than that of 
the ox is reflected in a curious way by the structure of the 
compound nrTro/itowoXo?, 2 "horse-herd" or "horse-keeper." 
It is formed from a combination of nr-Tro?, "horse," and 
POVKO\OS, S " neatherd," " a driver of oxen." When the 
pursuit of horse-rearing was adopted, the word iWo? 
was prefixed to the term already familiarly employed 
for tending oxen. In like manner Homer applies the verb 
ftovtcoXeiv to mares : He is describing the wealth of 
Erichthonius, a point in which he surpassed all other mortal 

Tou Tpwr^tXiat ITTTTOI 2A.os Kara 

The horse served several useful purposes. Already the Its uses - 
great store set upon it by the inhabitant of the steppe or the 
desert has been touched upon. But the fleetness and fiery 
nature of the horse were not the qualities that excited the 
admiration of the early Aryan. It was valued for its hide, 

1 Cf. A. Otto, Zur Geschichte der dltesten Haustiere, p. 73; and 
Schrader, Reallex., p. 623. 

2 Soph. Fragm., 891 ; but cf. Valckeniir on Eur. Phwnissce, 28. 

3 Root, <e\-, seen in the Latin celer^ tl swift." 

4 Iliad xx. 221. "Three thousand mares had he that pastured along 
the marsh meadow, rejoicing in their tender foals." (LANG, LEAF and 
MYERS, transl.} 


sinews, and milk; 1 Homer, Herodotus, and Strabo speak 
of nomads who lived upon mare's milk. Its utility as a 
beast of burden only came to be recognized gradually. It 
was employed for drawing vehicles ; we possess proof of 
this in the close resemblance of expressions connected with 
harnessing, the Sanskrit qdmya, "yoke-beam," the Greek 
tempos (a kind of muzzle or horse-collar), and the Armenian 
samik, "yoke-pins." Its value in time of peace would appear 
therefore to have been early appreciated. The case was 
otherwise with war. Many centuries must have elapsed 
before the horse was put to this use. In the heroic age, as 
described in the Homeric poems, the horse appears yoked 
to the chariot. Even there, however, the epithets applied 
to leaders like Nestor, iWora, "a charioteer," "a warrior 
fighting from horseback," and iWoSa/zo?, "horse-subduing," 
would seem to imply that the practice was only gradually 
gaining ground in the days described by the poets. As for 
riding, this accomplishment was the product of a still later 
age. Certainly mention is made of the art in the oldest 
songs of the Rigveda, 2 and in heroic Greece : 

'Qs 8' or' avrjp iTnroicri KtXrjTifeu/ ev i8u)S, 
"O? r' 7rel CK 7roXeG)i> Trurupas (rvraeipeTai ITTTTOVS, 
Scvas /< TreSioio /xeya Trpori acrrv SiijTai 
Aao<opov Kaff 68oV TroXees re 4 OyrjcravTO 
'Avepes ^8e yvvcuKts 6 8' e/XTreSov d<j<^>aA.s cuei 
poiCTKWv aXXor' ?r' aXXov d/m'/Serai, 01 8 ireroi/Tat. 3 

horse's. The writer clearly compares Ajax to a professional rider. 

1 Cf. Homer's Iliad xiii. 5. ayav&v "iTTTr^/zoX-ycSi/ rXaKro0ayo>j>, "horse- 
niilkers." Herodotus iv. 2. Strabo vii., p. 260, after Posidonius, places 
them in the north of Europe ; though there is no direct evidence that the 
custom was general, it appears probable. Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 541. 
He also cites the Old Prussian aswznan, " horse's milk." The Tartars 
still make of horse's milk an intoxicating liquor which, under the name 
of koumiss, is used instead of wine or spirits. 

3 5,.6i, 2. 

3 Iliad xv. 679. " And even as a man right well skilled in horseman- 
ship, that couples four horses out of many, and hurrying them from the 
plain towards a great city, drives along the public way, many men and 
women marvelling on him, and firmly ever he leaps, and changes his stand 
from horse to horse, while they fly along." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, 
transl,}. Cf. Odyss. v. 371 and Iliad ^x. 513. 


Still, the superiority of the horse in war was now 
beginning to be recognized by the early Greek and Italic 
races, as by the Assyrians long before. Its fleetness, 
the characteristic which gave its name to it, 1 is the subject 
of praise in early writers. The pastoral life to which the 
shifting population had become habituated had been an 
unconscious preparation for service as mounted horsemen 
in war; a mounted shepherd is but one remove from a 
mounted soldier, differing only in the object of his excur- 
sions. No doubt considerations of this kind dictated the 
panegyrics of the horse in the well-known passage in the 
Book of Job 2 and the striking lines in the Iliad of Homer : 

'Qs 8' ore TIS crraros ITTTTOS, aKoo"r;<ras CTTI 
Aeoytov airopprias Ociy TreStoto 
Eitoflws XoveaGai evppetos Trora/xoio, 
KvSioow v\j/ov Bf. Kapfj x t i < 
*f)/w,<HS dioxroirat' 6 8' ayXanyc^i 7r7roc.0o>s, 

e yovra <epi /xcra r TrjOfa KOL vo/xov t 

Nor is this all the significance that the horse possessed ; The horse 

r ' venerated. 

for it came to be viewed with well-nigh a religious venera- 
tion. Its association with the god of light, the swift element, 
is well known, and vestiges of this belief are met with in 
countries widely sundered from each other. Thus in the 
Ajax of Sophocles the Day arrives with its white steeds. 4 
In like manner Castor and Pollux, whenever they appeared 
to mortal eyes, rode white chargers. 5 To this association of 

1 Equus, IKKOS, dc,va. 2 xxxix. 

3 vi. 506. " Even as when a stalled horse, full-fed at the manger, 
breaketh his tether and speedeth at the gallop across the plain, being 
wont to bathe him in the fair-flowing stream, exultingly ; and holdeth his 
head on high, and his mane floateth about his shoulders, and he trusteth 
in his glory, and nimbly his limbs bear him to the haunts and pasturage 
of mares/' (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.} 

4 Soph. Ajax, 672. 

5 The story ran that the divine twins helped the Romans against the 
Latins at the battle of Lake Regillus in 496 B.C., and three Corinthian 
pillars in the Forum belong to the Temple of the Dioscuri, erected to 
record that event. Near this place, at the pool of Juturna, the divine 
messengers watered their foaming steeds and announced the victory. 
Quite recently this Lacus futurnae has been excavated, and a horse, 
sculptured in white marble, has been unearthed on the same spot. 


the horse with certain gods must doubtless be attributed the 

wide- spread practice of offering horses as sacrifice, in Greece 

to the Sun l and Poseidon, 2 and in Italy to Mars. 3 

other These three animals, the swine, the ox, and the horse, 

kSownto have been here chosen as interesting instances of the large 

Aryans, acquaintance of the Aryans with the brute world and 

the process of domestication. The dog among domestic 

animals, and the bear among beasts of prey might have 

been added to the list. But it must suffice to have pointed 

out those which had the most immediate bearing upon 

Greek and Italic civilization. 

1 Pausan. iii. 20, 5, 2 Ibid. viii. 7, 2. 3 Festus, on equus. 




WE have now arrived at a turning-point in the history 
of development of culture, at the step from pastoral 
life to the agricultural, the importance of which is not 
easily over-rated; for the influence that the adoption of 
agriculture produced on social institutions, on the growth 
of thought and on religious ideas was profound and far- 

The unsettled life of previous periods, a life spent in the 
pursuits of the chase or in breeding and nurturing, in flitting 
from place to place, as the season and convenience directed, 
was unsatisfying, and stable habitations in time became 
a necessity. With the rise of agriculture arose also a settled 
form of existence and ultimately villages and towns. But 
in speaking of agriculture we have employed a term which 
to modern ears suggests a somewhat different connotation. 

The truth is, as has been said at the beginning, that the 
advance from one stage to the other is but slow, and periods pasture to 

. . . agriculture 

of culture overlap each other. So it is in this instance, gradual. 
The transition from the hunting period to the pastoral, 
from the pastoral to the agricultural is hardly perceptible. 
Even after the ancestors of the Greeks had migrated into 
the southern peninsulas some tribes clung to a mode of life 
in which pasture predominated. So much is suggested by 
the names E#/3ota (t, " well," ftovs, " ox"), now a bare and 
sterile region, and Boico-ria, a tract of country in historic 
times renowned for its cattle pastures T and the rusticity of 

1 Cf. Hesiod, Fr.4(i46). 


its inhabitants, 1 and also by the epithet iTnrofioTos (" horse- 
feeding ") an epithet often applied to Argos. 2 All of these 
words imply the existence of exceptional pasture, which was 
turned to good account. 

But while the inhabitants of these parts are represented as 
occupying themselves with the peaceful pursuits of the 
shepherd and husbandman, others were wedded to the wilder 
and more exciting life of war and the chase. Such, in 
matter of fact, were the Dorians, and it is not a little 
curious that the terms fewa>y6s, " huntsman," and \o%ay<k 9 
" captain," in the Dorian dialect became stereotyped in Greek. 

The The existence of some kind of agriculture may be pre- 

mised of the Stone Age. Although pasture was still the 
established occupation, yet at that time some sort of 

The hoeing was practised to furnish vegetable food. The 

primitive, methods employed must have been of a primitive character, 
and in their nature resembled the system which has ever 
preceded and still precedes pastoral life and pure agriculture 
in various parts of the globe. 3 The products cultivated were 
probably limited to a few kinds of bulbs and millet. 4 

Aryan The terms connected with agriculture which appear in 

terms con- 3 e ? 

wltffa ri European languages exhibit a curious correspondence, and 
culture, prove that those who used these tongues were familiar with 

1 Whence the proverb vs Botom'a, a " Boeotian sow," applied to the 

2 Iliad ii. 287 ; iii. 75, 258 ; vi. 152 ; iv. 246 ; xv. 30 ; xix. 329. 

3 E. Hahn, Die Hausthiere und ihre Bedeutung zur Wirtschaft des 
Menschen, Leipzig, 1896. 

4 This would explain the circumstance that the Eastern Aryans the 
Indian and Iranian differ from their European kinsmen in the terms 
for the products and progress of agriculture. In some respects they 
agree, as in the possession of these words : the Sanskrit, ajrd-, " pas- 
turage," which is identical in form with the Greek d-ypoy, " field," and the 
Latin ager, "field"; the Sanskrit mar, "to bruise," "grind," with the 
Latin " molere" " to grind " ; the Sanskrit jdva, " corn," " barley," with 
the Modern Persian jo, "barley," and the Greek ea, "spelt." The 
explanation, then, would appear to be this that a simple method of 
hoeing obtained before the Eastern and European branches parted 
company, and that, according to a common principle in early stages of 
language, the terms gained more precise meanings in Europe. But 
much obscurity overhangs the whole subject. See Schrader, Reallex., 
pp. 9-1 1. 


primitive husbandry at the time. Illustrations of the remark- Their 
able resemblance that exists between the vocabularies of blance - 
various languages are afforded by the following : 
Ploughshare Greek . . o<f>vi<;. 

Latin . . . . vomis. 
Old High German . . waganso. 
Seeds Latin .... semen. 

Old Slovenic . . . sme. 
Reaping Greek .... afjAco. 
Old High German . . mad. 
Grinding Greek .... fjuvXrj. 
Latin .... molere. 
Lithuanian . . . mdlti. 

But all correspondences cannot be explained in this 
manner. Some of the terms employed in different countries 
widely separated from each other are not due to direct 
derivation, but to the operation of common laws of the 
human mind. 

The methods of land measurement consequent upon the Land 

r measur 

introduction of agriculture and the divisions of land that ment - 
ensued reveal a striking correspondence in the vocabularies 
of various races. In the Oscan vorsus, versus, 1 the Russian 
versta (" verst," or Russian mile), and the Old Prussian 
ainwarst, "once," "one time" (equivalent to the German 
einmat], we probably have the survival of a prehistoric term. 
The word wdrsfas, a very old expression in Lithuanian, 
originally denoting a turn of the plough, which was after- 
wards employed to signify a piece of arable land, illustrates 
best of all the growth of the thought. Under all these terms 
lies the idea of turning the ox at the end of the furrow. 3 
Again, a comparison of the Latin iugum? iugerum, " acre," 

1 Latin verto, "turn." Cf. Quod Graeci plethron appellant, Osci et 
Umbri vorsum. Frontin, DC limit., p. 30 ; Schrader, Reallcx., p. 526. 

- Furlong or " furrowlong," the distance which a team of oxen can 
plough conveniently without stopping to rest. See Lubbock, Beauties of 
Nature, pp. 106, 107. 

3 lugum vocant, quod iuncti boves uno die exarare possint. Varro, 
De Re Rust. i. 10. 


as regards the form with the Middle High German jiuch, and 
as regards the idea with the Modern German morgen, and 
the French journe'e, calls to mind the time when the acre was 
roughly represented by the amount that a team of oxen were 
supposed to plough in a day. Sometimes paraphrases, or 
fuller expressions, were employed to convey the thought. 
Thus in Homer's Odyssey : 

oa-a-ov T' ei/ m<t> ovpov 

The The probability therefore is, that even before the separa- 

husbandry ..' i r i j 

simple and tion of the Aryan family, husbandry of some kind was 

primitive. J " i i r 

practised during the pauses that occurred in the progress of 
these waves of population. But it is husbandry of a simple 
primitive character; the methods were primitive, and the 
implements rude and clumsy in their make. 

Agri- The humble and unimportant character of this primitive 

con" husbandry is indicated by the prejudice that was long enter- 

sideredde- J . . . . -11 

meaning, tained against agriculture in comparison with the pastoral 
life, a feeling shared by unprogressive races at the present 
day. " Many races here in Africa," says a modern writer,- 
" practise husbandry, but the cultivation of plants counts 
with them as only a demeaning, secondary and almost 
unworthy occupation . . . their hearts are with their flocks, 
which form the centre of their life." To a similar purport 
speaks Herodotus in regard to the ancient Thracians : 

apyov flvai KoAA.toToi>, yr/s Se fpydnqv aTi/xoraTO)'. 3 

and apparently the observation would be no less true of 

the Germans of Tacitus' time. 4 The reason is not far to seek. 

Agriculture was an exacting employment, affording little 

but in liberty for the favourite pursuits, war and the chase. These 

Homer a J 11 ^ r 

respect- scruples, however, must have been overcome in Greece, for 

pursuit. _ - - . ___ 

1 viii. 24. The poet is describing a foot-race. One of the competitors 
outstrips the others " by the length of the furrow that mules cleave in a 
fallow field." 

2 E. Grosse, Die Formen der Familie und die Formen der Wirtschaft, 
Freiburg, 1896, quoted in Schroder's Reallex., p. 914. 

3 v. 6. " To be idle is most honourable ; but to be a tiller of the soil, 
most dishonourable." 

4 Germ. 14. 


in the Homeric poems agriculture is evidently a respectable 
occupation ; noble and prince do not disdain to ply the hoe. 1 

Thus far the Aryans in general. When we pass to the 
periods that succeeded the settlement of the Greek and 
Italians in their final abodes, agriculture appears established 
as the chief means of livelihood. The pile-dwellings of the Italy - 
Terremare, explored by Chierici, Pigorini, and Strobel 2 
afford evidence of having been first occupied by a pastoral JweH 
people. Apparently cattle-rearing there gave way to hus- 
bandry and the culture of the vine. 

The evidence of nomenclature, legend and tradition confirm 
the truth of these discoveries of a change of life and of the 
adoption of agriculture in the Terremare. Under the 

r clatureand 

guidance of a steer, vitulus (so ran the legend), the hardy 
warlike races of the North penetrated as far as Sicily. 
There is also a clear connection between this legend and the 
traditions relating to King Italus. 3 Of this leader Aristotle 
speaks in the Politics : 

<cwrt yap ot Xoytoi TU>I/ c/cct KarotKowrcov 'IraAov TWO. yevtorOai 
TT}S Oiyoorpias, d<' ov TO re oVo/xa /xeTajSaAoWas 'IraXovs avr' Olvwrpwv 
K\Tr)QfjvaL . . . rovrov 8r) A.ey overt TOV 'lTaAoi> i/o/xaSas rovs Oii/wrpovs 
6Was Troojcrai ycwpyovs, KOL I/O/AOVS dAAovs TC aurots 6<rOai KCU ra 

The proper names of some of the tribes of Italy also shed a 
ray of light upon the economic changes. Such are the national 
names Osci (Opsci], "field-labourers," a primitive people of 
Campania, and Siculi (Sikeloi], " reapers," who once occupied 

1 Odyss. xviii. 374. So too King Janaka in the Ramayana i. 66. 
Cf. Le antichita preromane delta provincia di Reggio ncll' Emilia, 
Reggio, 1871 ; and also Nolizia archeologiche del? anno 1872, Reggio, 


3 Varro, De Re Rust. ii. 15 ; Cell. xi. I, I ; cf. Curtius, Or. Etymol., on 
traXo'f ; Mommsen, Unterital. Dialekte, p. 260, quotes mteliu, frcm 
inscriptions on Oscan coins. 

4 Politics vii. 10 (iv. 10). " According to the local antiquaries there 
was a certain king of Oenotria called Italus, from whom the name of the 
Oenotrians was changed to Italians. . . . This Italus, as the story goes, 
converted the Oenotrians, who until then had been a nomad people, into 
agriculturists, and besides other laws that he gave them, was the first to 
establish the system of common meals." (WELLDON, trans/.) 


territory on the Tiber, and afterwards gave their names to 

The Peias- Turning to Greece we find agriculture associated with one 
stratum of population in particular the Pelasgoi, a people 
whose origin and character is veiled in much mystery. 
Before the domination of Greece by the Achaians, the 
Greek world, according to tradition, was occupied by 
Pelasgoi. But whether they were of Aryan origin it is 
impossible to determine definitely ; some of the elements of 
culture connected with their names bear an Aryan, others 
an un-Aryan stamp. The name Pelasgoi would seem to 
indicate a period or phase of culture rather than a race. 1 
However that may be, in view of the traditional association 
of the Pelasgoi with husbandry, 3 the names of places or 
persons which bear record of their presence, especially in 
Thessaly, assume some significance. Such were the Aleuadae, 
a princely family in Thessaly ; as their name denotes, they 
were "threshers." Such were Ephyra, Argos, and Larissa, 
meaning respectively a " place of look-out," a "fertile plain," 
and " rich soil." Moreover, Larissa in the legend is repre- 
sented as the daughter of Piasos, a name which recalls the 
word for " rich," 8 and is suggestive of fertility. 

rodu^ed ^e a doption of agriculture brought with it important 
culture" changes; indeed, it may be said to have revolutionized 
domestic and social life, as will become clear in the sequel. 
Here one or two points may be briefly noticed. The 
domestication and employment of animals for the purpose 
of draught were immediate consequences of the exchange of 
the life of the herdsman for the life of the husbandman. 
Hitherto, animals were kept in flocks and herds for the 
sake of food and clothing, and the distinction between the 
wild and the domesticated animal had been drawn, but their 

The legend (ysch. Suppl., 250) makes Pelasgos the son of yqyevTjs 
Ha\aix6a>v, and Strabo vii. i and 2, states that the Molossians and 
Thesprotians called old women irehias, Cf. the name TpaiKoi (Aristotle, 
Meteor, i. 14, 15), an older word for Greeks than "EXA^ey. But see Hall, 
The Oldest Civilization of Greece, p. 83. 

Cf. Hesiod, Works and Days, 398. 
3 Cf. Odyss. ii. 328; Iliad xviii. 541. 


use as beasts of burden or draught was not yet realized. 
Now they were accustomed to the hand of man (^etpo?;^, 
mansuetus), and set to work. As the ox had been highly The ox. 
valued in the pastoral period, so it bore a prominent part 
in the agricultural. Various were the uses to which the ox 
was put. It was yoked to the plough. It was harnessed 
after a primitive fashion to the rude cart. 1 So important a 
feature had the ox become in the household economy of the 
Aryan that Hesiod mentions it as indispensable to the 
primitive establishment : 

OLKOV fJilv TrpamoTO, yvvat/ca re (3ovv T" 

But little less importance was attached in course of time The 
to the horse. The various qualities that distinguish it, its 
keen instinct, its endurance, its fidelity, now gained general 
recognition. Valued in the first instance mainly as a source 
of food and clothing, or as an acceptable sacrifice to god or 
goddess, used afterwards for riding, and especially for the 
war chariot, and finally employed for humbler purposes, the 
horse supplemented, but did not supplant the ox. 

With regard to the relations of mankind to the animal ? procal 
world in general, it is usual only to dilate upon the services 
of the brute creation to their master man, in supplying him 
with the necessaries of life. But it must not be overlooked 
that the action is reciprocal, and that advantages accrue 
to the dumb servant from its connection with its master. 
The three stages of hunting, pastoral life, and husbandry, 
show us the moral influences which have been exerted on 
man by the brute. When in the very earliest ages a 
precarious existence had to be maintained, in the face of 
wild beasts and amid the rigours of climate, the chase 
developed the qualities of cunning, courage and endurance 
which man maintained in ordinary life. When in the 
pastoral period, and still more in the agricultural, man and 

1 Cf. the Sanskrit anadvdh; I, cart-drawing ; 2, bull. 

2 Works and Days, 405. " First of all get a house and a woman and 
a ploughing ox." 


beast became habituated, nay, essential to each other, the 
new conditions created could not fail to humanize the 
feelings, soften the manners, and influence character, morals 
and religion beneficially. Not without reason, then, does 
Homer call the nomad Scythians " drinkers of mare's 
milk," l and on the other, the " most just of men." In that 
simple folk 2 may have been discerned the historical charac- 
teristics and the moral rectitude, honesty, and hospitality, 
which the degradation of ages has not obliterated from the 
character of their modern representatives. 
Agn- The adoption of agriculture operated in yet other directions. 

culture as - . . 

a stimulus Thus, it stimulated the inventive faculties and sharpened 
faculties 6 men ' s power of observing the processes of nature. To 
The adduce one solitary instance: that the European Aryans 

plough. we re acquainted with some kind of ploughing may be 
gathered from what has been said about the origin of 
husbandry and also from the existence of a common word 
for plough, the Greek dporpov, the Latin aratrum, and the 
Old Norse aror. The correspondence, however, does not 
hold good of the Eastern Aryan. True, the Greek dpovv 
and the Latin arare belong to the same root as the Sanskrit 
ar. But in the age when the ancestors of Indian, Greek and 
Italian all lived together the word had not yet acquired the 
specific meaning of ploughing. The Indians themselves 
attribute their knowledge of the plough to a previous 
population, who, " by sowing cereals with the plough 
brought great prosperity to the Aryans." 3 

1 Iliad xiii 5 ; Strabo vii. 3 ; Herod, iv. 46. Nicolas Damascenus 
remarks that, as their mares were in themselves a commissariat, they 
were difficult to conquer. Cf. Newman, Hist. Sketches i., pp. 4, 6 ; also 
note in Ch. ix. p. no. 

2 The epithet ayavoi, " noble," in the passage doubtless refers to the 
simplicity of their life. 

3 H. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 235. The German pflttg furnishes 
a parallel case of borrowing. Tacitus states that the ^Estii formed an 
exception to the general run of Germans, who preferred the excitements 
of war and the chase frutfienta ceterosquc fructus patientius quam pro 
solita Germanorum inertia laborant. Accordingly the Slavonic word for 
plough, plugn^ became incorporated in the German language, and passed 
from there to the Celts. 


The adoption of the plough marked an important depar- 
ture in the knowledge of agriculture. The structure of the important, 
implement itself and the names for it indicate the progress 
of the art of ploughing. The Greek name for ploughshare, 
{Wfc?, would seem to derive its name from the swine's snout. 1 
The earliest plough consisted solely of a hook-shaped branch 
of a tree, 2 possibly with a horn or stone at the point as a 
harder substance than wood. A survival of this exists in the 
term aporpov avrojvov, viz., of one piece. 3 This was super- 
seded by the ciporpov TTTJICTOV^ viz., compacted, put together, 
which may have been introduced from a foreign country. It 
was elaborated yet further by the separated races, for the 
terms applied by them severally to the different parts of the 
plough, and indeed to agricultural operations generally, 
exhibit the widest divergences. Such are the Latin temo, 
"beam," stiva, "handle," and bum, "plough-beam," the 
equivalents of the Greek icrrofioevs, e^erXr; and 71^9. 

Yet another result of the adoption of agriculture was a 
more settled mode of life. This change is probably trace- j 
able to the practice of planting trees, 5 the vine in particular. stabilit y- 
Dwelling places now assumed a more permanent character, 
and the change from nomadic or partially nomadic habits to 
a settled life exercised a corresponding effect upon the growth 
of civilization. Earlier generations had spent much of their 
time in roaming far and wide ; in this migratory period their 
wives, children and chattels would be conveyed in covered 
waggons. This kind of locomotive dwelling, which still 
survived among the children of the steppe, excited the 
wonder of the historians and poets of Greece and Rome. 

1 Cf. the Sanskrit word vrka, (i) wolf, (2) plough, the idea being that 
of a wolf ripping up the ground. 

- Cf. the Finnish kara and the Ind. spandana, both meaning (i) branch, 
(2) plough. Such an implement is used in some parts of Russia to this 
day. Cf. J. T. Bent, The Cycladcs, p. 97. 

3 V. Hehn, Kulturpfl., p. 457 ; Hesiod, Works and Days, 425. 

4 Homer, Iliad x. 353 ; Odyss. xiii. 32. 

(fraivfTai yap f) viiv 'EAAas KaXovpevri ov TruAtu j3f/3m'a> oiKOVfKVT] aXXa 

Tf OVVClt TO. TTpOTfpd KOI pO.8lO)S KO(TTOt TT]V faUTO)I> 

vno TIVWV cut nXciovw. Thuc. i. 2. 


The traveller from the South and the West gazed with 
astonishment on the huge wattled houses set on wheels, 1 
and drawn by oxen ; ' the steppe offered but scanty materials 
for more durable dwellings, and when occasion called, the 
primitive inhabitants were content to avail themselves of the 
shelter afforded by rude tents, consisting of stakes covered 
with hides, or by caves and other hollows in the earth. 3 When 
their descendants embraced agriculture, their dwellings 
underwent a corresponding change ; houses 4 were now built 
on the surface of the ground. They must, however, have 
been of the rudest construction. Their shape was probably 
round, and it may not be fanciful to discover in this an 
evolution from the tent. 

The jntro- A fresh advance was marked by the introduction of brick- 
brick, making, which was an Eastern invention ; indeed, it may 
not be too much to say that the art of building in the 
modern sense of the term was due to Oriental influence. 
The progress of the art of building northward from the 
south-eastern shores of the Mediterranean is reflected in the 
adoption of words from the Greek and Latin languages, 
which, in their turn, owed them to the East. Homer, too, 
reveals an acquaintance with an advanced form of art : 

'Os 8' ore TOt^oi/ avrjp apdpy TrvKtvoicri XiOourw 

Ato/xaros vi^X-oto, /3ias avefjuav dXectVoov, 

*Os apapov KopvOes re /cat dtTTriScs 6/>i</>aA.ocro'ai. 5 

T ortsmceof ^ ut more important than physical comforts and the 
habitation, improvements in the methods of building were the sense of 

1 Cf. Hesiod, Frag., 189 ; ^Eschylus, Prom. Vinctus., 708. 

2 The ox-cart or waggon was a very early invention, as is shown by 
the common terms for the various parts of such vehicles. In accordance 
with the spirit of conservatism which is so potent in religious tradition the 
ox waggon continued to be used in certain ceremonies by the priestess 
of Hera at Argos. 

3 The OIKI'CU Kardyfiot of the Armenians. Xenophon, Anab. iv. 5. 25. 

4 Sanskrit dama, Greek Sojuo?, Latin domus. 

5 Iliad xvi. 212. "And as when a man builds the wall of a high house 
with close-set stones, to avoid the might of the winds, even so close were 
arrayed the helmets and bossy shields." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, 
trans I.} 


security and stability, the social condition and the religious 
ideas, which gradually developed with the fixity of the home. 
The change is reflected in language ; words arose which 
called up to the mind the social well-being and religious 
character of the family, rather than the material aspect of 
it. Ever since the introduction of these words a most 
significant meaning has been attached to them and they 
awaken the tenderest associations. Such was the word ot*o<?, 1 
signifying the domicile of the human beings composing the 
household. As So/xo? refers primarily to the structure of the 
dwelling, so the idea which is uppermost in OIKOS is the 
suggestion of home life. Such, too, are the words cedes* 
(" habitation," " sanctuary "), ara? originally indicating the 
fireplace, afterwards the altar, and Vesta, the " goddess of 
the sacred hearth." 

It may seem that undue stress has been laid in these summary, 
pages upon the connection between agriculture and mental 
and moral development. But the more the civilization of ?fl e uence 
Greece and Italy is studied, the more clearly will it appear nJ * S gri- e 
that the occupations of the two races deeply impressed 
themselves upon their life. There is hardly an institution, 
custom or tenet of the Greeks and Romans that does not tend 
to show that the pursuits followed by their ancestors tinged 
their ways of thinking, moulded their habits and coloured 
their beliefs. Of these influences, however, something more 
will have to be said in the sequel. Meanwhile, it will be 
enough to point out in general outline the effect that 
agriculture produced ; an effect, indeed, of which the 
ancients themselves were not unaware. This is proved by 
Greek myths and speculations upon the origin of the 
primitive culture of Greece. 

1 Sanskrit vefd-, Latin vicus. 

* Connected with <u0o>, to " burn," with reference to the eternal flame 
kept burning at the hearth, or with the Greek 8pos and sedcs, " seat." 

3 Connected with the Sanskrit dsa-, "ashes," the Greek fojrfflh 
- hearth," the Gothic azgo, " ashes." The fireplace naturally became the 
altar of sacrifice ; originally no doubt it consisted simply of a hole dug 
in the ground. 


The position of the goddess Demeter in legendary lore is 
full of significance. According to time-honoured tradition 
she was the patron goddess of the fruitful land and of 
husbandry. But she was more also; she presided over 
marriage, the institution upon which family and state, upon 
which culture and civilization, were primarily based. She 
is entitled 0eo7-to<d/?o9, the guardian of laws and ordinances. 1 
She is, therefore, at once the originator of culture and the 
upholder of the moral relations between man and man. 

No less significant, as showing that agriculture constitutes 
a line of demarcation between the civilized man and the 
barbarian, is the poetic account in Greek legend of the Cy- 
clopes, a race of giants who live in morose seclusion outside 
the pale of society, and upon the outskirts of civilization. 
They practise no husbandry; they have no laws, no cities: 

8' 9 ycuav v7rep<iaA.u)v, d#ejurru)v 
', ot pa Otolcri 7r7roi$6Ves aOavaToicrw 

dXXa ra y acnrapTa /cat avrjpOTa TTOLVTO, 

TTVpOL KOL KplOa\ rJS' a/XTTeAoi, <KT ffatpOVCTLV 
CilVOV lpL(TTOL<f>V\OV, KCLL (T<f>lV AlOS OfJiflpOS de 

TOICTIV 8' OUT' ay opal j3ovX-r)<f)6pOL ovYe 

The momentous step from barbarism to civilization had 
now been taken. From agriculture sprang the arts of life, 
the institutions, the principles which reached their maturity 
in classic Greece and Rome, and in course of time, yielding 
to the natural law of decay, perished. Under the fostering 
influence of the Christian religion they revived, germinated 
afresh, and finally burst into full bloom in the civilization of 
the Western World. 

1 Cf. Diod. Sic. v. 5. 

2 Odyss. ix. 106. "And we came to the land of the Cyclopes, a 
froward and a lawless folk, who, trusting to the deathless gods, plant not 
aught with their hands, neither plough : but, behold, all these things 
spring for them in plenty, unsown and untilled, wheat, and barley, and 
vines, which bear great clusters of the juice of the grape, and the rain of 
Zeus gives them increase." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) The several 
stages through which agriculture passed are almost suggested here : 
(i) the gathering of the wild corn; (2) the introduction of the vine, a 
most important element in horticulture ; and (3) lastly, the highest form 
of agriculture, with a settled mode of life and its accompaniments. 



THE conceptions formed of the family are of deep import ^ 8 ' d n e c a e f f 
in the growth of human society. Every step in the progress the famil y 
of humanity involves the formation of societies of some kind, 
but the most natural is the family, and " if any union existed 
before the family, it must have been a herd, not a state." l 
It is itself the germ out of which all social and political life 
grew. It is asserted by modern travellers that certain tribes 
exist which have made some progress in civilization, yet 
possess but elementary ideas of this institution a deficiency 
which is proved by the poverty or even the complete absence 
of terms connected with the family relationship. The dialect 
spoken by the Hos of India, for example, is said to contain 
not a single term of endearment, and the language of the 
Algonquins, one of the richest tongues in North America, is 
said to include no word for " loving." The consequence is, 
that the laws that unite such races together are not based 
upon the system of this natural association of kindred by 

Whether this was ever the case with the Aryans at any 
time is not easy to determine positively. But, however that g^ 
may have been, that the family tie in the heroic age of Greece 
was invested with sanctity and viewed with reverence is plain 
from the frequent allusions to family life in the pages of 
Homer. There the family is not in process of an uncertain 
development, but matured and governed by established rules 
and fixed order. It is placed under the protection of the 

1 Raize), The History of Mankind, vol. i., p. 88. 


Erinyes, 1 or Furies, who wreak vengeance upon those who 
violate the sacred duties of kindred. Still, there is evidence 
to show that the institution of the family in cultured Greece 
also attained to its maturity only by slow degrees, and that 
there existed in the marriage rites of Greece and Italy down 
to historic times vestiges of an original barbarism and of a 
low standard of morality. Several Greek legends testify to 
the observance of the marriage tie, and at the same time to a 
reaction against the licentiousness of the customs, especially 
Asiatic customs, with which the Greeks came into contact. 
Such is the lesson inculcated by the description of the un- 
easiness of Odysseus's conscience while consorting with the 
enchantress Circe and with the goddess Calypso in the island 
of Ogygia. Such, too, are the protests against the violation of 
the conjugal unions by Theseus's desertion of Ariadne, the 
Cretan Princess, and by the perfidy of Paris of Troy in his 
intrigue with Helen of Mycenae. Their conduct is visited 
with severe censure. In the first two stories the heroes dis- 
card their foreign concubines, and their action, it is implied, 
is justifiable ; in the last mentioned the breach of hospitality 
and morality involved in the conduct of the two lovers leads 
to the Trojan War and the ruin of a kingdom. 

Polyandry. The question whether polyandry, i.e., plurality of husbands, 
prevailed in the early stages of civilization has been often 
debated. It has been argued with much plausibility 
by Bachofen, Maclennan, Morgan, Giraud Teulon, and 
Robertson Smith, 2 and Lang inclines to the same opinion, 
that is, that at one period the practice of women having more 
than one husband at the same time was the rule. On the 

1 'Epivu-s, the "swift goddess" of vengeance. Cf. Sanskrit saranyu, 
"hastening,' "swift"; Saranyu, the consort ofVivaswant, and mother 
of Yama and Yami. 

2 J. J. Bachofen, Das Mutterrecht, Stuttgart, 1861, and Das Lykische 
Volk und seine Bedeuttmg fur die Entwickelung des Alterthums, Frei- 
burg im Breisgau, 1862 ; Maclennan, Primitive Marriage, Edinburgh, 
1865; L. H. Morgan, Ancient Society, New York, 1877 ; Giraud Teulon, 
Les Origines du mariage et de lafamille, Geneve, Paris, 1884 ; Robertson 
.Smith, Kinship and Mart iage in early Arabia, 1885. 


other side Maine and Starcke l have held that while, owing 
to various causes, polyandry may have existed, yet this state 
of things was exceptional. Agnation (i.e., relation in the 
male line) according to their view does not rest on the form 
of marriage, but on the patriarchal power of the head of the 
family. While there is nothing to compel assent, the 
cumulative force of the evidence points to the prevalence of 
polyandry at a very remote epoch. The cases cited cover a instances, 
wide area. The usage is said to have existed among the 
Iberians, 2 the Egyptians, 3 and the Etruscans, 4 and the 
ancient Agathyrsi 5 ; there are also clear evidences of the 
observance of the custom by Eastern Asiatics, 6 Arabians, 7 
the Tsonnotouan Iroquois, 8 the Todas of the Nilgheri Hills, 9 
Malays, 10 and Picts. 11 

The reasons which led to polyandry may have differed, a*J ses 
but one of the commonest causes doubtless was the dearth f e f atures 
of food, especially when sustenance depended on the fortunes Pol y andr y 
of the chase. To the same cause must be ascribed the 
custom of exposing children, particularly females, of which we 
shall have to speak at a later stage. The practices of marriage 
by capture and exogamy are closely connected with 

The custom among the Lycians of tracing relationship 
through the female line, and ignoring paternity, is attested by 
several Greek authors, such as Nicolaus Damascenus, 12 who 

I Maine, Early Law and Custom, London, 1883 ; Starcke, La Famille 
Primitive, Paris, 1891. 

8 Strabo, iii., p. 165, says that among the Cantabrians husbands brought 
presents to the wives, and property passed through the daughters. 

3 Schmidt, Papyrusurkunden, p. 321 ; cf. Sanchoniathon, p. 16, Orelli. 

4 The inscriptions on Etruscan tombs are said to bear out this state- 

5 Herodotus iv. 104. 6 Giraud-Teulon, La Afore, p. 50. 

7 W. Robertson-Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, Cam- 
bridge, 1885. 

8 Lafitau, Moeurs des Savages Ambricains, vol. i., p. 555. 

9 Open Court iv. 2322. 

10 Post, Grundlagen des Rechts, Oldenburg, 1884, p. 92. 

II Zimmer in Zeitschrift fur Rechtsgeschichte xv., p. 209 seqq., and 
Dio Cassius Ixxvi. 112. 

12 De mor. gent. 


says they honour women more than men, and take their 
names from their mothers ; they leave their property to 
daughters, and not to sons; and Heraclides Ponticus l 
calls the Lycians women's servants. Herodotus furnishes 
fuller information on this point. He says : 


iSiov vevo/UKaai, KOL ovSa/xotcrt aXXoto-6 crv/x^epoi^rai av 

0.7TO T(t)V fJ.r)Tp(t)V CWVTOUS Kttt OVKl (XTTO TO)V TTaTeptOI/* lpOfJLVOV 

erepov rov TrXyo-iov TI'S cfy ; KaraAe^ei ctovrov prjTpoOcv KOL TVJS /u^r 
avavjjLTai ras 

It is interesting to notice that in the inscriptions found 
among the Termilae, who have been identified with the 
ancient Lycians (see this same chapter in Herodotus) the 
children are named after their mothers, not after their fathers. 
It has been also observed 3 that the national heroes of 
Lycia, for example Sarpedon, trace their descent in the 
female line. 4 

portion Under this system it follows, as a natural consequence, 
matlrnai tna * tne maternal uncle becomes the natural protector of the 
children. Of this usage Tacitus speaks in the Germania : 

Sororum filiis idem apud avunculum qui apud patrem honor. 5 

1 De Re Publ. 15, f< TraXatov yv 

* i. 173. "Their customs are partly Cretan and partly Carian ; but 
they have one peculiar to themselves, in which they differ from all other 
natives : for they take their names from their mothers and not from their 
fathers; so that if any one asks another who he is, he will describe 
himself by his mother's side, and reckon up his maternal ancestry in the 
female line." 

8 Cf. J. Toepffer, Attische Genealogie, p. 193. 

4 Similarly in the Welsh " Mabinogi of Math," the King Math is 
succeeded not by his sister's son Gwydion, but by the son of a daughter. 
See The Welsh People, by Rhys and Brynmor Jones, p. 37. In the 
Indian Mahabharata, Vasouki, the Naga (serpent) King wished to have 
an heir, but instead of taking himself a wife he found a partner for his 
sister Djaratkarou. The sister's son succeeded to the throne. 

5 c. 20. " The sons of sisters are as much the objects of their uncle's 
regard as their father's." A famous passage in the Mahabharata tells 
how the five brothers Pandara "married the fair Draaupadi with eyes of 
lotus blue." The legend relating to these princes is so marked with the 
stamp of polyandrous institutions that the very terminology of polyandry 
is retained. Grand-uncles are here, as with some Red Indians, called 
grandfathers, and uncles fathers. 


The matriarchal principle, then, is a recognition of the central 

r i M j i feature of 

kinship of children to the mother, as the corner-stone of ".Mother- 
the family; no other clue to relationship is possible in matrimony 


certain conditions of primitive life. The result was that, patrimony. 
when ideas of property assumed form and consistence, its 
transmission was arranged so as to benefit the maternal 
lineage. But this system could not last for ever. Accord- 
ingly, as this method of tracing descent and transmitting 
property declined, the higher principle of the supremacy of 
the father developed spontaneously, and to this he attained 
by the acquisition of property of his own through his in- 
dividual exertion. 

Such are some of the characteristics of polyandry and of 
the matriarchal principle as it existed in countries con- 
tiguous to Greece and Italy. That the Aryan people Italy 
practised polyandry or recognized it as an institution is 
proved by no evidence whatever. On the contrary, it may 
be laid down as a general principle that in both countries 
relationship was reckoned through the father and not the 
mother. In them the wife's connections are not looked upon 
as relatives but friends ; l here the maternal uncle occupies a 
subordinate position. All the evidence, therefore, points in 
the opposite direction. For, whereas the existence of a 
name for paternal uncle at a very early time is proved by a 
comparison of the Sanskrit pitrvya the Greek Trar/MH?, and 
the Latin patruus, it cannot certainly be ascertained 
whether a prehistoric term for maternal uncle existed at all. 
Hence, generally speaking, the Aryan words for the uncle on 
the mother's side are derivatives frorn the words for grand- 
father, as the Latin avunculus from avus. Moreover, the 
contrary assumption that the mother and kinsmen at one 
time dominated the Aryan family runs counter to the whole 
spirit of Greek and Italic society. But this does not pre- 
clude the possibility that, as with other Aryan races so with 
Greek and Italian, their ancestors may have been acquainted 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex., pp. 213, 214. 

India, a with the practice. India furnishes an illustration of the 

parallel, - , . 

way in which polyandry was found in possession and 
eliminated. There, too, such a menage was repugnant to the 
better judgment of the inhabitants. It betokened degeneracy. 
Usually in Hindu law, which is " saturated with the primitive 
notion of family dependence," 1 kinship is traced through the 
male line ; while in Hindu genealogies the names of women 
are generally omitted altogether. This rule seems to have 
been universal originally. 2 But in course of time the 
opposite usage crept in. Still, it was regarded as a repellent 
innovation, frowned upon, and chiefly, if not altogether, 
confined to un-Aryan tribes. 

It may be justly supposed, therefore, that as in India so 
also in Greece and Italy, the matriarchal principle never 
rooted itself, but was an exotic taint contracted from the 
previous occupants of the country ; was, in short, the relic of 
an imperfect condition of social law which was in due time 
abandoned in favour of the commoner usage. 

Polygamy. But if polyandry was viewed with a sentiment approaching 
abhorrence, no scruples appear to have been felt in Greece 
or Italy as regards polygamy, for there are abundant evidences 
of its existence down to a late time. The feeling of various 
races with regard to polygamous marriages has been in- 
fluenced by different considerations. It often depends 
upon climatic conditions. In warm zones, where the climate 
is genial and life easy, polygamy is common ; where, on the 
other hand, the climate is cold and inhospitable, as in 
Northern regions, or where domestic cattle are rare or 
wanting altogether, or, again, where provision for a family 
is a difficult matter, there monogamy is the rule. There 
may be other conspiring causes an anxious desire for male 
issue or the wish to extend family connections. But these 
, are reasons which would be expected to affect only or chiefly 
the powerful and wealthy. " In India," says Delbruck, 3 

1 Maine, Ancient Law, p. 150. 2 Cf. Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 325, 326. 
3 Verwandschaftsnamen, p. 540. Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, 
P. 324- 


" a man might possess several wives. Thus, Manu has 
seven, but as a rule four is the customary number mentioned 
as belonging to a prince. In the regulations relating to 
sacrifice and domestic life called the Sutras, it is presup- 
posed that a man possesses only one wife, or at least, only 
one head- wife." ] Apparently a similar state of things 
obtained among the Persians, 2 Thracians, 3 Slavs, 4 and 
Germans. 5 The German princes in Caesar's time took to 
themselves more wives than one for political reasons. 6 Nor 
does the above list by any means exhaust the number of 
primitive races, Aryan as well as un- Aryan, who practised 

The Homeric poems present to view the results of a long The place 
process of development. The institution of the family is in Homeric 
by now established, and to this consummation the native 
genius and strong character of the Greek women probably 
contributed. One of the women of the household assumes 
pre-eminence. She is the lawful, wedded wife, icovpiBlrj 
aXo^o?. 7 She is the lady-mother, Trorvia fjLiJTrjp. 8 She receives 
the chief honour at the hands of the household as well as 

1 Cf. Zimmer, Alt. Leben^ 323, 324. 

2 Herodotus i. 135. 3 Ibid. v. 5. 4 O. Schrader, Reallex.^ p. 635. 

5 Grimm, Geschichte der Sprache i., p. 18 ; Poesche, Die Arier, Jena, 

6 Judging from Tacitus, Germ. 18, the custom does not seem to have 
predominated in the West, but it was the rule in the North. Cf. 
Weinhold, Allnordisches Leben, pp. 219 and 248, and Tacitus, Germ. 46. 

7 The phrase is used in opposition to illicit concubinage. *A\oxot, 
like the Anglo-Saxon gebedda, means censors tori. Cf. the Church 
Slavonic salogu with the same sense. The epithet tcovptiios is applied to 
the husband also. Its derivation is uncertain, but it is probably 
connected with Kovpoy, " a youth," and probably connotes the idea of free 
birth. In that case it affords a parallel to the Anglo- Saxon frto-lic wif, 
" free-born," " legitimate wife," on which see F. Roeder, Die Familie bet 
den Angelsachsen, Stud, zur eng. Phil. iv. 72, and Schrader, Reallex.^ 
p. 254. 

8 The word irorvta is clearly connected with the root poti-s, which 
appears in several words for husband or lord, such as iroaris and dffnro-njs. 
Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 635. In India the wife occupies a corresponding 
position. A passage in the Atharvaveda reads : "Go to thy husband's 
house that thou mayest become the lady of the house " (grhapatni) as 
the husband is lord (gfhapatt). 


of her husband; yet at the same time her consort, far 
from being a strict monogamist, considered himself at liberty 
to acquire several other wives and concubines. 
Gradual Although, as has been said, evidence exists to show that 

growth of -ji 

the institu- j n re spect to marriage some Aryan races remained on a low 

tion of r x- t j T i 

marriage. l eve l o f civilization, the ancestors of Greeks and Italians in 
course of time divested themselves of these cruder ideas. 
The institution of marriage is the basis of the family, 
and the family, as has been observed, is the nucleus of the 
civilized community, and ultimately of the whole social 
fabric. 1 

The That marriage was an established institution at an early 

evidence of . . ... 

tradition, time is implied in the descent of mankind from a single pair, 
which forms the subject of several Aryan traditions. Under 
this class falls the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the sole 
survivors of the flood with which Zeus in his anger over- 
whelmed Hellas. Upon this divine visitation Deucalion, a 
son of Prometheus and Clymene, built himself a ship, and 
stored it with provisions. After floating for nine days the 
ship, according to common tradition, rested on a mountain- 
top, and he and his wife landed. When the wrath of the 
god had been appeased and the waters had gone down 
Deucalion offered a prayer, accompanied by sacrifice, that 
the Father of the gods might be pleased to restore man- 
kind. The answer came ; the pair were bidden to cover their 

1 Cf. Cicero, De Ojficiis i. 17. " Quum sit hoc natura commune 
animantium, ut habeant libidinem procreandi, prima societas in ipso 
coniugio est, proxima in liberis, deinde una domus, communia omnia. 
Id autem est principium urbis et quasi seminarium reipublicae." 
Ratzel, Volkerkunde (transl. by A. J. Butler, 1896-8), vol. i., p. 87, after 
a survey of a much wider field than was open to Cicero, speaks to the 
same effect: '* The fundamental basis of the family is the union of the 
sexes in a common home in which the children are brought up. Within 
the wide limits of this definition we find marriage universal. Where 
marriage has been supposed to be absent, even among the most 
promiscuous nomads of the forest and desert, its existence has sooner or 
later been in every case established. Extraordinary as has been the 
spread of polygamy, extending even to the possession of thousands of 
wives, as a rule the establishment of the family begins in the union of one 
man with one woman. Even elsewhere one wife remains the first in 
rank, and her children have, as a rule, the rights of primogeniture." 


heads and throw their mother's bones behind them while 
walking to the sanctuary of Themis. Interpreting the 
bones to mean the stones of the earth, they threw stones 
behind them, and lo ! from those thrown by Deucalion 
sprang up men, and from those thrown by Pyrrha women. 1 
It is recorded too, on the testimony of Suidas, 2 that marriage 
owed its origin to Cecrops, the first king of Attica, and it is 
certainly a curious coincidence that, as in the Australian 
myth the foundation of marriage is attributed to the lizard, 
so the king to whom it is ascribed in Attica, should be 
represented as an earth-born being, the lower part of whose 
body was that of a dragon. 

The earliest terms relating to the marriage union shed an And of 
interesting light upon its nature, and the growth of the ideas 
entertained concerning it. But if we expect to find marriage 
terms common to the Aryan races, we shall be disappointed. 
The truth is that we look in vain for any term in an age 
anterior to the historic period, for, as Aristotle observes : 

dixoi/v/x.oi' rj yvvaiKOS KCU dvSpos <rvvis. 3 

The reason is obvious. It is because the woman as yet has 
little or no status in society, and the positions of husband 
and wife are not parallel to each other. He is the master, 
she the servant. He is the owner, she is his property. He 
is the representative of the family, she a dependent. Con- 
sequently the necessity of possessing a term to denote the 
idea of the marriage relation has not yet made itself felt. 
But in the absence of any terms for marriage that take us 
back to the earliest times, an analysis of the expressions that 
afterwards came into vogue, yields some interesting results. 
It is noteworthy that the Lithuanian wedu, " conduct," 

1 The story exhibits considerable variation in local legends. See 
L. Diestel, Die Sintflut, Berlin, 1876. The foregoing version gives 
the general outline. See Smith, Diet, of Greek and Roman Biography 
and Mythology, under " Deucalion." It survives in Modern Greece. 
The shepherds on the slopes of Olympus and the labourer on the 
plains of Boeotia still tell the tale. Cf. Rernhard Schmidt, (Jricchische 
Mdrchcn, Leipzig, 1877. 

3102. 3 Politics i. 3, "The union of man and wife has no name." 


"marry," Old Slovenic veda, " conduct," and the Sanskrit 
vadhfl, " young bride," recall the custom of conducting the 
bride to her new home. 1 Such, too, is the idea underlying 
the Latin phrase uxorem ducere, and the Greek yvval/ca 
ayea-Oaif which both mean to " lead (home)," i.e. " marry a 
wife." Indeed, most of the early terms relating to marriage 
recall some feature of the marriage ceremony. To the same 
class belongs the Latin word nuptice, " bridal," which sum- 
mons up to the mind the custom of veiling the bride. Hence, 
too, the word nupta, " bride," and ^^77, " bride," may be 
referred to the same root. Under other words, like the 
Sanskrit janitvd, and the Latin matrimonium, lies the idea 
of motherhood. In many languages the expressions for 
"husband" and "wife" consist merely of the words for 
" man " and " woman " ; of this usage the Greek yvvij and 
the Latin vir afford illustrations. 

Exogamy. When we are considering the ideas relating to marriage 
which are to be found among races low down in the scale of 
civilization, it is necessary to divest ourselves entirely of the 
associations connected with this institution in modern life. 
For the nature of the marriage system and the household 
menage depended at that time largely on the standard of the 
material resources available. It can hardly be doubted that 
the earliest Aryans, like other races at the beginnings of 
their history, were obliged to obtain wives from neighbour- 
ing tribes by force, fraud, or compact. To this practice may 
be attributed the presence of various elements in Aryan 
society, such as polyandry, which, as we have seen, were 
repellent to the better judgment of the Aryan, and were 
afterwards expelled and placed under a ban. The introduc- 
tion of foreign wives, or wives of another tribe, whether of 
another Aryan tribe or tribes entirely external to the Aryan 
pale, was one of these necessary evils, and there is no doubt 
that these wives were actually viewed with disfavour. The 

1 From the root vah ; Latin where^ " carry " ; Greek o^oy, "chariot" ; 
and German wagen, " carriage." Cf. the Avestan, upa-vaday-yaetaj" he 
may marry." 


prejudice against these mixed marriages may be easily under- 
stood. It was natural for the man to prefer a wife who spoke 
his own language, and was familiar with his own habits, his 
own ways of thinking, and the traditions of his race. Such a 
wife, moreover, would ensure him support, and enable him 
to contract more useful alliances. Above all, such an 
arrangement would preserve the purity of the race unim- 
paired. This surmise on our part is corroborated by the 
evidence of Roman law of a later day. Ever mindful of the 
importance of the family, and the paramount claims of the 
commonwealth, in the interest of which the individual was to 
sink his private prejudices and predilections, and to lose 
them in the welfare of the community, the Romans viewed 
with suspicion the importation of foreign wives. Such 
marriage alliances were termed connubia. They were 
recognised as marriages, but not Roman ones, and they 
entailed serious disabilities. 1 Thus it came about that a 
kind of " protection " was created in the interest of the 
native women. But these legal enactments were of com- 
paratively modern growth, and they attest the prevalence of 
an earlier custom, which, with the increase of material 
prosperity and the growth of national sentiment, died out in 
time. Unquestionably the practice of exogamy can be traced 
to no other cause than to the scarcity of women, and this 
scarcity in its turn was due to the exposure of female children 
a practice of which Roman civilization preserved distinct 
traces, till Christianity leavened society, and succeeded in 
expelling the abomination. 

Passing on to the motives which influenced the individual, tiyes ot 
whether Greek or Italian, in founding a " hearth " or home, marril| K e - 
it must be borne in mind that the purpose in view was a high 
one. Strabo, 2 speaking of a race in ancient India, bears 
record that " they marry many wives. . . . Some of 
them they marry, hoping to find in them obedient attendants, 
and others for pleasure, and others to fill their homes with 

1 R. von Ihcring, The Evolution of the Aryan^ p. 337. * xv. 54 


children." The observation is so far true, but the historian 
might have proceeded to point out the main consideration 
that weighed with the individual in entering upon the 
m arried state. Usually the step was not taken with a view 

worship. to ma terial comfort or sensual gratification, or if this was the 
case, these motives were subordinated to a higher purpose. 
Rather, it had a deep social and religious significance the 
maintenance of the continuity of the line. The responsibility 

ofthe ut es for this rested mainly upon the representatives of the family, 

t r f v p e r s O f n t?e that is, the father and the eldest son. Of all the obligations 
that were incumbent upon them the most important was the 
duty of keeping up the worship ofthe ancestral spirits without 
intermission. The neglect of this was attended by the most 
serious consequences, and woe betide the man who incurred 
the displeasure of the ancestors of the house. 1 If the daily 
sacrifice were suspended, the ancestor's place in heaven 
would be jeopardized, or indeed altogether forfeited, and he 
would have to be born again. 2 The chief representative of 
the family was, therefore, bound in honour and self-interest, 
present and prospective, to maintain uninterrupted the sacred 
fire on the hearth and the offerings to the dead, whose welfare 
was in some mysterious manner believed to be bound up with 
the fortunes of the living. Accordingly, towards securing 
this solemn object all the precautionary measures, whether 
unwritten custom or legal ordinances, concerning the family 

Basons were mainl y directed. But the family possessed a social 
aspect also, and its unbroken continuance was not dictated 
solely by religious reasons. The adult Aryan had a duty to 
fulfil towards his tribe, race, or nation. He was a member 
of a community. He had a stake in the common-weal. He 
owed it to his fellows to maintain his household unimpaired. 
The family, then, formed the unit of society both in Greece 
and Italy. An obligation attached to the man to seek a 

1 So much is implied in the phrase placare manes. Cf. Leist, Altar iscJtes 
Jus gentium, pp. 100-102. 

2 Cf. Macrindle, Ancient India, London, 1901, p. 57, and Lassen, 
Indische Alterthumskunde, Bonn, 1847-1862, 


wife, if possible amongst his own people, if not amongst the 
enemy. How strongly these reasons appealed to the states- 
men and legislators of a later day may be gathered from the 
legal enactments relating to marriage at Rome. 1 Hence the 
penalties with which celibacy was loaded. 2 True, these 
laws were passed in historic times ; but is it reasonable to 
suppose that these considerations pressed less heavily upon 
the ancestors of the Italic stock, and that the necessity was 
less felt in an age when the nation was coming into being ? 

No less marked was the anxiety on the part of the wife to 
continue the family line, and this feeling on her part is by no thc wife - 
means confined to Greece and Italy. In Hebrew history, as 
appears again and again in the sacred Scriptures, the 
fruitfulness of woman is one of her chief recommendations in 
the eyes of the community, as well as in those of her husband. 
To bear more girls than boys, or only girls, was a misfortune ; 
to bear no children at all a crime. But nowhere does this India, 
feeling find more frequent or more plaintive expression than 
in the Vedas. The Indians, who are portrayed in these 
hymns, thought that if the family was lost all was lost. 
" Why is it," asks an Indian writer, "that every creature, 
rational as well as irrational, longs for a son ? It is that 
by means of a son fathers are able to overcome mighty 
obstacles." The gods spake to the man, " This being 
(woman) is ordained to the end that she may reproduce 
thee." Throughout Vedic literature runs this thought of the 
preservation at all hazards of the family line ; the son must 
maintain the sacred flame ; the son must propitiate the 
ancestors ; the son must keep up the sacrifice in the father's 
memory when he is dead and gone. 

This consideration carried equal force in Italy from time Italy, 
immemorial. The importance of marriage in the mainten- 
ance of human society as in its first formation was never 

1 Cf. R. von Ihering, pp. 348, 349. 

1 To evade this penalty bachelors sometimes resorted to a mock 
marriage, and consequently the Censor imposed an oath liberorum 
quaerendorum gratia se uxorem habere. 


lost sight of, and the thought is in keeping with the whole 
tenour of Roman life and the whole fabric of Roman society. 
So essential an element was the preservation of the family 
considered that priest, statesman, and lawgiver co-operated 
in imposing stringent restrictions upon celibacy, and in giving 
encouragements to a married life. 




WHATEVER forms the union of the sexes may have taken in 
the earliest ages of the Aryan races, they now lie beyond the 
reach of investigation ; but, as regards marriage, sufficient 
evidence is available to trace the steps by which that institu- 
tion gradually advanced till it became a universal usage. 

The history of the rise of marriage is of profound interest 
and of paramount importance in the development of culture. 
Upon the whole, the evidence at our command points to the 
existence, at one stage of Aryan civilization, of. the practice 
of marriage by capture. The prevalence of this custom in 
other countries far removed from each other is abundantly 
attested ; but whether it has been observed in all parts of the 
globe is open to doubt, 1 and it is possible that some of the 
symbolic actions connected with the marriage ceremonies of 
a later day, and supposed to be survivals of actual capture, 
may have been dictated by other considerations. It may 
have been that forcible seizure was regarded as an enterprise 
worthy of a warrior, and that the stealing of a wife was the 
required proof of fitness to possess one. 2 But this view 
hardly appears to offer an adequate explanation of a wide- 
spread custom which is so fully authenticated alike by 
explorer and historian. 

Of the observance of this usage among backward races its preva- 

... lence. 

of modern times it is not necessary to speak here except so 

1 Cf. Grosse, Die Formen der Familie, p. 105. 

2 H. Spencer, Principles of Sociology, vol. i. pp. 652-653. 


far as the symbolic practices employed may serve to illustrate 
many details of the marriage ceremony in Greece and Italy. 
It will be remarked that the less reality there is in the 
custom, the more capricious is the form which the symbolism 
takes. To mention some survivals, it is stated on good 
authority that among the Esquimaux, when a suitor seeks the 
hand of a maiden, she indulges in violent expressions of 
grief, felt or feigned. Such an outburst of emotion public 
opinion requires of her on the occasion, and it is said to be a 
survival from bride capture in a stage of primeval barbarism. 
Again, in a district of East Melanesia, at a marriage the boys 
of the village await the arrival of the bride's relations, and 
proceed to shoot arrows at them. Sometimes the symbolism 
assumes the form of a sham fight between the relatives of 
the bride and the bridegroom after the wedding feast, or the 
bridegroom is obliged to buy his bride, and she herself must 
pay for permission to depart in peace. 1 In the Loyalty 
Islands custom prescribes that the newly-married pair must 
only meet in secret. 2 But such symbolic practices were 
widespread. Even after the diffusion of Christianity, though 
the stern reality of bride capture had long been abolished, a 
similar symbolism survived, for example, in India, 3 Lithuania, 4 
Wales, 5 and England. 6 But any further discussion of the 
instances in point which may be found in civilized countries 
and they are numerous would carry us too far afield. 

The evidence as regards Greece is of a varied character. 
Fable lends colour to the view that bride capture prevailed 
there at one time. Such is the drift of the legend of the 

1 F. Ratzel, The History of Mankind, p. no. 
- Ibid. 

3 The term raksd for a form of marriage which was confined to the 
military caste points to its existence in India. See Rossbach, Unter- 
suckungen uber die romische Ehe, pp. 201, 207. The same practice may 
perhaps be traced in vadhu, the " yokefellow " or " wife brought home." 
Max Mliller, Autobiography, p. 149. 

4 Schrader, Reallex., p. 652. 

5 Roberts, Cambrian Popular Antiquities, p. 162, and Notes and 
Queries, series viii., vol. 3, p. 325. 

6 Vaux> Church Folklore, 1902, p. 131. 


Dioscouri, Castor and Polydeuces, who, struck with the 
beauty of the daughters of Leucippus, Phoebe, a priestess of 
Athene, and Hilaeira, a priestess of Artemis, carried them off 
and made them their wives. 1 

Turning to the evidence of historians, we learn that the Testimony 
custom was at one time practised everywhere in Greece, historians. 
The existence of the practice among the Dorians is attested 
by Plutarch, 2 and the Spartans are specially mentioned as 
having retained it. 3 

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the practice of Rome, 
carrying off wives at one time obtained in primitive Italy. 
The symbolical practices which obtained at the Roman T h h e e ra P of 
marriages in historic times cannot be explained away as Sabines - 
legal fictions or mock ceremonies. The rape of the Sabines 
furnishes an illustration in point. Whatever complexion 
later writers may have imparted to the legend, there can be 
no doubt that it preserves the tradition of a time when bride 
capture was prevalent. The story is a familiar one. Romulus, 
finding his followers too few to support him in his ambitious 
schemes, resolved to augment their number by offering 
sanctuary to malefactors and slaves, and such as were 
desirous of novelty. Each day added strength to the new 
community, and it seemed only to want women to secure its 
duration. Being unable to form treaties to obtain the rights 
of legal marriage (eonnubium)> he made overtures to his 
neighbours, the Sabines. Upon their rejecting the proposal 
with disdain, Romulus determined to wrest by force what he 
could not gain by entreaty. In pursuance of his purpose he 
proclaimed the celebration of games in honour of the god 
Census, which the Sabines, as he had expected, attended 
with their wives and daughters. The sequel is well known. 

1 Hygin,, Fab. 80 ; Schol, ad. Find. Nem. x. 112. 

2 Lycurg., c. 15. 

5 See K. F. Hermann's Lehrfaich d. Griech. Anfig., Freiburg, 1882 
(edited by H. Bliimner), p. 272, n. 8. Leist, Altar. Jus gentium, 
127. The clandestine interviews between the newly-married, which, 
according to Strabo and Xenophon, were customary in Crete and Lycia, 
may have been symbolic survivals of marriage by capture. 


At a preconcerted signal, while the strangers were most 
intent on the spectacle, a number of Roman youths rushed in 
with drawn swords and carried off the virgins by main force. 1 
Hence arose a bitter feud and bloody war, and these were 
only terminated by the intercession of the wives, who effected 
a reconciliation between the combatants. The legend cannot 
be accounted for by representing it, as Rossbach 3 does, 
simply as typifying the conquest over maidenly modesty. 
Rather it is a " mythical motive of the Roman marriage act 
an etiological myth." 3 The story doubtless records a 
signal instance of the high-handed method of obtaining wives 
which was prevalent in the earliest stages of Italic civiliza- 
tion. This method, as we have already seen, was rendered 
necessary by the scarcity of women, and it was ultimately 
traceable to the exposure of female children. 
Marriage But legendary lore is not the only source of evidence of 

customs. . J J 

bride capture in Italy. Marriage ceremonies plainly retain 
vestiges of this usage. Does the Esquimaux bride make a 
show of yielding to compulsion by wringing her hands and 
yielding to paroxysms of despair ? So did the Roman bride 
take refuge in her mother's bosom, from which she was 
removed by force. Does the Australian aborigine assert his 
authority over the captive of his spear and bow? So did 
the Roman husband pass a lance (quiris) over the head of 
the bride in token of her subjection to his will and power. 
In view of the parallelism presented by the marriage customs 
of different races, these relics can only be interpreted as 
survivals of the institution of marriage by capture. Though 
the stern reality of bride capture had become obsolete, the 
symbol was retained. 4 

1 Cf. Dion. Halic. ii. 30. 

" Untersuchungen uber die rbmische Ehe> Stuttgart, 1853, p. 207. 

3 Cf. Schwegler, Romische Geschichte, i. p. 468, and R. von Ihering, The 
Evolution of the Aryan, p. 336. 

4 " The Circassian buys his wife, but at the same time he is obliged pro 
forma to steal her, and carry her off furtively ; this is the only respectable 
manner of obtaining possession of his bargain." Haxthausen, Trans- 
kaukasia, p. 8, note. 


The next stage in the development of marriage is the Marriag 
custom of purchasing wives ; the contract was often concluded purchw 
when the future wife was still a child, and occasionally even 
before she was born. We shall probably be right in regarding 
this system as an evolution from the preceding practice of 
bride capture. For it seems likely that the price paid 
represents the fine or compensation given to the offended 
parents. 1 However that may be, there is no doubt that 
marriage by purchase prevailed widely as well among Aryan A wide- 
as un- Aryan races for example, among Thracians, 2 Germans, 3 custom. 
Celts, 4 and Slavs. 5 

The Indian forms of purchase are particularly instructive India - 
in this connection, and enable us to understand both the 
features of the practice and the causes of the abandonment of 
it in Greece and Italy. The statement made by the geographer 
Strabo 6 to the effect that bride purchase was a recognized 
institution in that country is borne out by the testimony 
of others. The bridegroom pays a yoke of oxen. 7 His act 
is plainly looked upon as a purchase. His gifts may be 

1 The Saxon laws contained some provisions which are interesting in 
this connection. If through his own poverty or the avarice of the 
prospective father-in-law, the suitor was balked of his prize, he might 
seize and carry off the maiden. A law of Ethelbert ordained that in such 
an event the abductors should pay a fine of fifty shillings, and afterwards 
buy his bride at a reasonable price. 

2 Herod, v. 6. wvtovrai rag yvvaiKas napa T>V yoi/eW ^piy/AaTC 
Xen. Anab. vii. 2, 38. (I ns aoi eem 6vydrrjp wpqo-ofiat 0paKia> vo/zax 

3 Tacitus, Germ. 18. Dotem non uxor marito seduxori maritus offcrt ; 
boves etfrenatum equum et scutum cumframea gladioque. 

4 Caesar De Bell. Gall. vi. 19. 

* Krauss, Sitte und Brauch der Sudslaven, p. 272, and Schrader, 
Reallex. 109. The custom is apparently not an unmitigated evil in some 
parts of the East. "The Eastern girl sees in her purchase-price the 
test of her own value the higher the offer the greater her worth. . . . 
Their parents know that a better lot awaits them there (in Turkey) than at 
home, and the girls willingly go to Turkey, where, as this traffic has existed 
for centuries, they constantly meet their kindred. In their own homes, 
moreover, the Circassian men are rough and imperious, and the women 
are slaves to all kinds of drudgery and menial labour ; whereas the Turk 
is a patient and kind husband and a tender father." Haxthausen, 
Transkaukasia y pp. 9, 10. 

6 C. 709. Cf. xv. 54. 

7 Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 310. 


proportioned to his wealth and position. 1 But in course of 
time the custom fell into disuse ; it was first forbidden to the 
Brahmanas, and finally the prohibition was extended to 
the other castes. 3 

Greece. To turn to Greece. It may suffice to cite Aristotle as a 
witness : 

Aristotle. Tovs ap dpx at ' ov s vo/xovs Ai'av aTrXovs cTrai KCU /Jap^apiKovs, ctn- 

Tovs yap dpx at ' ov s vo/xovs Ai'av aTrXovs cT 
otfropovvTO T yap ot "EXXiyves Kat ras 

yap ot "EXXiyves Kat ras ywaiicas ecovowro Trap' 

Legend. The supersession of bride-capture by purchase finds an 
echo in several Greek legends, where the suitor is described as 
obliged to fulfil some serious task before receiving the hand 
of the woman he seeks. The story of Theseus and Peirithoos 
is of the number. Aidoneus, a king of the Molossians, is 
the father of Core. 4 Theseus has obtained the help of 
Peirithoos in an earlier exploit, and determines to reward his 
companion with the hand of the Molossian princess. Pre- 
senting themselves at the king's court, they are received as 
well-meaning suitors. Accordingly the prospective father- 
in-law imposes a trial of bravery. Peirithoos must fight and 
conquer the hound Cerberus. Meanwhile, Aidoneus dis- 
covers the original intention on the part of the visitors to 
carry off his daughter by force. Thereupon Peirithoos is 
slain, and Theseus made captive. But instances of this trial 
of skill or strength, or other formidable feats required at the 
hands of an aspirant might be multiplied, and they are doubt- 
less connected with the system of bride purchase. 

itaiy. The Italic races probably fell into the same law of develop- 

ment. As regards Rome, the argument must rather rest 

1 Rigveda i, 109, 2. 

2 Rossbach, Die Romische Eke, p. 205. See also Leist, Altar. Jus 
gentium, p. 127. 

3 Politics ii. 8. " It may be said that there is an indication of this 
truth in the facts of history, as ancient customs are exceedingly rude and 
barbarous. For instance, the Greeks always carried daggers and 
purchased their wives from one another." (WELLDON, transl.} 

4 The story may be a version of the sacred rape of Persephone ; it 
certainly bears the appearance of a later interpretation of that story. 
But this does not diminish its significance as evidence of marriage by 
capture and by purchase. 


upon analogy. We are tempted to see in coemptio, the 
form of marriage consisting of a mutual mock sale, by which 
the wife was formally freed both from the tutela legitima, i.e., 
the legal protection or guardianship, and also from the family 
sacra, or house-worship, a survival of bride purchase in Italy 
also. The term is, however, merged in considerable obscurity, 
and by itself offers too slender a foundation for concluding 
that the system of purchase was a recognized Roman 
institution. 1 But we need not, for that reason, reject the 
conclusion altogether, and Roman law lends us a ray of light 
in our investigation. It has already been seen that there are 
grounds for thinking that bride capture once obtained at 
Rome. On the other hand, it is also placed beyond 
controversy that many of the institutions and customs 
connected with home life in Roman society belonged to 
a common inheritance which was derived from an earlier 
stage of Aryan society. Therefore it appears probable that 
coemptio really represents an earlier stage intervening between 
bride capture and the orthodox and respectable confarreatio, 
in which the contracting parties offered bread (far) in the 
presence of the Pontifex Maximus or the Flamen Dialis and 
ten witnesses. If this view be correct, then the original 
system of bride purchase was succeeded by the ceremony of 
buying, and the latter in its turn gave way to the custom of 
confarreatio . While recognizing that, logically considered, the 
analogical argument is not convincing, but may be psycho- 
logically persuasive, we may conclude that bride purchase 
was well known to the Romans likewise. To suppose that the 
Romans were exempt from the law of development through 
which the Greeks had to pass on their way to higher concep- 
tions of the marriage union is to reverse the positions of the 
two races in the path of progress, to run counter to the spirit 
of Roman institutions and the course of Roman civilization. 2 

1 Cf. Karlowa, Romische Ehe, pp. 3, 4. 

8 So, too, in Iceland, " the marriage itself remained till the latest times 
a matter of sale and barter in deed as well as name. The wife came into 
the house, in the patriarchal state, either stolen or bought from her 
nearest male relations." Dasent's The Burning of Njal, xxvi. 



connec- The question of the price that was paid by the prospective 

^ a stom g s e bridegroom suggests some interesting reflections. It has 

Pupation been seen in a former chapter that the occupation followed 

followed. must have ex ercised an important bearing upon the ideas of 

marriage. For at a time, when the chase furnished the chief 

means of support (precarious at best), infanticide, especially 

in the case of females, was resorted to without any feeling of 

compunction. 1 But with the growth of cattle-rearing, and, 

above all, with the adoption of agriculture humaner ideas 

gained ground. Not only so, but the improved mode of life 

and the gradual advance of civilization is reflected in customs 

connected with marriage. Among the features of the 

marriage ceremony, which betray the influence of the occupa- 

The price tion pursued, is the price paid by the bridegroom to the 

Sn m parents of the bride. Now, it has already been pointed out 

that cattle formed the chief medium of exchange in mercantile 

transactions. Accordingly the price of a wife was paid in 

oxen, and Indian and Greek literature present to view a 

curious correspondence in this particular. A hundred cows 

is the price mentioned in the Veda 3 and in Homer, the 

suitor offers the same number : 

/?ovs SCOKCV tTTCtra Se 
atyas opov KCU ots. 3 

In India as well as in Greece that number could be exceeded 
if the suitor chose. Moreover, we have seen 4 that, as in 
India, so also in Greece the price might be proportioned to 
the wealth at the command of the aspirant. The daughter 
is habitually appraised according to the number of oxen she 

1 A similar stress appears to have been felt by the Norse settlers in 
Iceland with similar results : " Down to the change of faith the 
practice of exposure which points terribly to the difficulty felt in 
supporting a family prevailed in full force." Dasent, The Burning of 
Njal, xxv. 

2 Leist, Altarisches Jus gentium t p. 127. 

3 Iliad xi. 244. " First, a hundred kine he gave and thereafter 
promised a thousand goats and sheep together." 

4 Cf. Tacitus, Germ. 18 ; Leist, Ibid., 127, 128 ; Grimm, Deutsche Rechts- 
alterthumer, p. 429. 



will bring in. She is " worth four or nine beeves." l Her 
father receives the eeSva or " gifts." He is said eeSz/otJcj&u 
Ovyarpa, i.e., to "betroth" or "give away his daughter." 
Telemachus, the son of Odysseus, complains of the suitors 
for the hand of his mother Penelope : 

ot rrarpos per es OLKOV aTrcppiyavi vcca-Ocu 
'I/capiov, <Xs /c'avros eeSvwo-aiTo Qvyarpa 
Aoo; 8' a> x'ctfeAoi KCU ot 

Enough has been said to prove that the practice prevailed 
widely at one time. But as the years passed the public the dowf y- 
conscience became more refined and sensitive, revolted 
against the system, and brought about a change. Yet this 
was probably the work of centuries. To achieve this happy 
result two alternatives presented themselves. With the Retention 

* oi the 

conservatism characteristic of early society, a point to which s y mbo1 - 
an allusion has been made more than once, the Greeks clung 
to the time-honoured tradition, but retained it only as a mere 
matter of form in a marriage ceremony. While the reality 
was discountenanced, the symbol survived. 3 The second 
method which might be adopted was the substitution of the 
dowry for the price that used formerly to be paid by the 
bridegroom, retaining the name eeSva with a new connota- 
tion. Under the new rule the father or guardian received, 
indeed, the money from the hands of the favoured suitor, but 
remitted it. We read in the Iliad: 

Tpets 8c /xot eio-i 6vyaTpS i/l fteyopo 

KCU AaoStio/ KCU *I<iai/a<7cra* 

1 The custom was widespread. In early Saxon society the father's 
wealth was often estimated by the number of marriageable daughters 
that he possessed, and the number of cattle they were worth. Among 
the Slavs the custom survived to a late date. Vladimir the Great (A.D. 
988), who married a Byzantine princess, although he had won his wife 
with his sword, paid her relatives for her. Ewers, Das alteste Rccht der 
Russen^ p. 226, Dorpat, 1826 ; R. von Ihering, p. 29. 

2 Odyss. ii. 53. " They are too craven to go to the house of her father, 
Icarius, that he may himself accept the gifts of wooing for his daughter 
and bestow her on whom he will, even on him who finds favour in his 
sight." Cf. 7/zWxvii. 365, 369, 381 ; xxii. 470-472. 

3 For a parallel state of things in India see Leist, Altar ischcs Jus 
gentium ) p. 132. 



IIpos OLKOV II^Ar/os' eyw 8' CTTI /xetAia 

IIoAA.a /Aa/V, o<rcr' ov TTW Tts ef; 

The state The transition from the purchase-money to the dowry may 

oftransi- -ITT * 

tion.m be illustrated from a passage in the Indian Apastamba, or 
Aphorisms of the Sacred Law. 3 The Veda prescribes that 
at the nuptials a gift shall be given to the father of the bride 
in order to satisfy the legal requirements. He (the suitor) 
shall therefore give a hundred cows . . . this gift he 
(the father) shall make of no profit (by returning it to the 
giver)." 3 

in Greece. The history of the change is likewise reflected in the 
growth of meaning in the Greek word eSva or eebva 4 originally 
employed, as has been seen, to denote the price offered by 
the suitor ; 5 in course of time it came to bear the meaning 
of dowry. 6 To this change of signification Sanskrit supplies 
an interesting parallel. The word qulkd has also developed 
in a similar way; originally, like eSva, it meant the price 
paid for the wife ; afterwards it denoted dowry. 7 

The evolution of the institution of marriage has now been 
traced. In bride capture the relatives of the bride are viewed 
by the bridegroom as enemies, in bride purchase as friends. 
In the former they possess no rights which need be respected ; 
in the latter they stand on an equal footing. In the former 

MX. 144. "Three daughters are mine in my well-builded hall, 
Chrysothemis and Laodike and Iphianassa ; let him take of them which 
he will, without gifts of wooing to Peleus' house ; and I will add a great 
dower such as no man ever yet gave with his daughter." 

2 See The Sacred Laws of the Aryans, translated by G. Biihler, 
ii. 6, 12, 13. 

3 Cf. Leist, Altarisches Jtis gentium, p. 132. 

4 Connected by Prellwitz with the Lithuanian vedu ; Church Slavonic 
veda, " lead," " marry." 

6 As in Odyss. i. 277 ; ii. 196. 

6 Other terms for presents exchanged at marriage are 8>pa, " gifts " 
(5iSo'j/ai, cf. Sicilian SooriVr;, Latin dos} presented by the bridegroom 
to the bride ; /ifi'Aia, presents from the father to the daughter. Cf. 
P.CI\IXOS and Slavonic milo (root, mar, " rub," " make soft)." 

7 The Sanskrit tindscra has passed through parallel stages of develop- 
ment. Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 544, A similar transition may be 
observed among the Northmen of Iceland. Dasent, The Burning of 
Njal, xxvi. 


the scene of action is laid in foreign territory, in the latter the 
negotiations proceed between families comprised within the 
same tribe. This change of attitude betokens an important 
advance. It remains to indicate two broad features in the 
history of marriage, which illustrate the views with which 
early society regarded the institution. 

The first point relates to the intimate connection of the 
marriage customs with husbandry, which shows that while 
some form of marriage had been observed from time im- bandf y- 
memorial, yet its establishment as a social institution dates 
from a period when agriculture had become the chief pursuit. 
To this association of marriage with husbandry various Jjjj* e 
terms bear witness. When the marriage was contracted, f,port? ir 
the object of the institution was expressed in agricultural 
terms, eirl TratScov yvrjo-iwv criropw, or apor^. 1 When the 
marriage union was celebrated in due form, one of the terms 
used was confarreatio. The following rites were observed. 
The bride and bridegroom first passed round the altar from 
the left hand to the right, accompanied by,a lad carrying 
the hymeneal water fresh from the spring. Then they cast 
an offering of meal or far, the earliest food of the Romans, 
into the fire. When the bridal pair arrived at their future 
home, nuts and other kinds of fruits, Kara^vcrfiaTa^ emblems 
of fertility, were showered over them by their well-wishers. 2 
Unquestionably many modern customs are lineally de- 
scended from the above usages, and take us back to the 

1 Cf. the use of <5Ao in Eurip., Phoenissac 18, and Sophocles, Oedipus 
tyrannus 1219 ; K. F. Hermann, Lchrb. d. griech. Antiquitatcn iv., Bd. 
Freiburg, 1882. 

'- Zimmer, Altindischcs Leben, p. 312. In India a relative sprinkles 
rice over the head of the bride before the actual wedding ceremony. 
Dr. Schrader quotes Johannes Lasicius's (1615) description of the 
custom in the Baltic regions. Ad singulas fores circumspcrgitur tritico, 
siligine, avena, hordeo, pisis, fabis, papavere, sequente uno sponsam cum 
sacco pleno omnis generis frugum. Probably bridecake is a survival of 
this usage ; but it is found in countries as distant and different from each 
other as North America, Burma and Fiji. When the wife installed 
herself in her husband's home she used the following formula : Ubi tit 
Gaius, ego ibi Gqta, " Where thou ploughest I plough with thee " The 
word ydlos was explained by the Greek lexicographers to mean " the ox." 
See R. von Ihering 392 and note, and Festus on Gata, p. 71. 


dawn of Aryan civilization. 1 It is also noteworthy, as 
showing the above connection of marriage with agricul- 
ture, that both were placed under the tutelage of the same 
gods and goddesses. In Greece Demeter, 3 the goddess 
of corn, presided over marriage and husbandry; in Rome 
this r6le is sustained by her counterpart Ceres, or by 
Tellus, " Earth." But the question how far religion entered 
marriage. m ^ o ^ ne \fe^ of the marriage contract and the marriage 
Ritual. ceremony is involved in much uncertainty. The ceremony 
does not appear to have been essentially of a religious 
character, but the customs connected with the event exhibit 
so much variety that no common principle can be laid down. 
In India, the classic ground of religious ritual and complex 
ceremonial, where hardly any step is taken or act performed 
without being hedged in with a thousand regulations, 
marriage is accompanied by a host of religious ceremonies, 
but even these partake more of the nature of witchcraft or 
magic. In Greece and Italy the marriage ceremony was 
not necessarily accompanied by any religious ceremony in 
The use of the proper sense of the term. But the institution of marriage 
India and both in India and in Italy exhibit striking resemblances. 
One of these relates to Agni, the Indian god of fire. 8 To 
him an offering was made in the course of the marriage 
ceremony. The bridegroom led the bride three times 

1 Cf. Mannhardt, Kind und Korn in Quellen und Forsch. xli., p. 365. 
" Niisse und Baumfriichte sind erst in historischer Zeit iiber Kleinasien 
nach Europa eingefuhrt wahrend die feste Stellung des Beschiittens mit 
einer Getreideart innerhalb eines bei Indern und alien europaischen 
Indogermanen ... in fast alien Stiicken, sogar in der Reihenfolge der 
Begebungen iibereinstimmenden Kreises von Hochzeitsgebrauchen es 
hochst wahrscheinlich macht, dass dasselbe mit irgend einer Halmfrucht 
schon von dem nur ganz primitiven Ackerbau treibenden, vorzugsweise 
dem Hirtenleben ergebenen Urvolke vor der Volkertrennung geiibt 
wurde." Schrader, Reallex., p. 358. 

2 Plutarch, Conjug. Praec. init. 

3 Agni probably belongs to the same root (ag) as appears in the Latin 
agilis, "nimble"; Slavonic agnu, Lithuanian ugnis j and Latin ignis, 
" fire." Agni would therefore mean primarily the " rapid moving," 
"sweeping element." Cf. A. Kaegi, Der Rigveda, p. 50. For a full 
account of the Indian ceremony see Leist, Altar. Jus gentium, p. 402. 


around the fire at the hearth, into which an offering of grain 
was thrown. A pitcher full of water was placed on their right and of 
hand. 1 The wedded pair were plenteously besprinkled. We 
shall doubtless be right in regarding the practice as parallel 
to the Roman aquae et ignis communio, which formed a part 
of a Roman wedding. Fire and water are the two elements 
on which human life largely depends. 3 They were used as 
striking symbols in the marriage ceremony, and according 
to Servius 3 the ceremonies correspond in almost every 
detail to the Indian practice whjch has already been de- 
scribed. Nor were customs of the kind unknown in Greece 
(though the resemblance is not so striking here), and in 
other European countries. 4 Throughout them all runs the 
idea, that as fire and water furnished the essential elements of 
life, and consequently upon them depended the existence of 
the individual and of the family, both should be symbolized 
at the momentous epoch of marriage, an institution which 
was at once the basis of the family, and the avenue by which 
man attained to his fullest development. 

Another consideration serves to show that marriage was s c cnce ol 
not primarily considered as a religious act. The absence the 
of a priest from a ceremony in which religion at present 
occupies a prominent place seems strange from a modern 
point of view. But the fact remains that in India, Greece, 
and Italy the priest was not required. Tacitus speaks in 
the same strain of the Germans, " Intersunt parentes ac pro- 
pinqui ac munera probant" 5 and doubtless the analogy holds 

1 Schrader, Reallex., p. 356. 

2 This explanation is given by Festus, p. 2, and he furnishes other 
illustrations of its use : aqua et igni tarn interdici solet damnatis (outlaws 
forbidden fire and water) quum accipiuntur nuptae (brides, weddings) 
videlicet quia hae duae res humanam vitam maxime continent. Itaque 

funus prose cuti redeuntes ignem supergradiebantur aqua aspersi (funerals). 
Quod purgationis genus vocabant suffitionem. Cf. Dion. ii. 30, where 
Romulus and his companions married the Sabine virgins whom they had 
carried off, /card TOVS narpiovs CKacrrrjs fQiorpovs, eVi Koti/aw'a irvpbs *ai V&OTOS 
f yyvvv TOVS ydpovs. 

* In &neid\v. 167. 4 See Schrader, Reallex., p. 356. 

5 Germ. c. 18. "The parents and relatives take part and approve of 
the gifts." 


good of other races to which they were akin. Whether any 
official assisted at the preliminary betrothal or at the actual 
ceremony is open to doubt. It would appear, therefore, 
that primitive marriage in Europe was mainly, if not 
entirely, a concern of the family or the tribe, and with 
religion, apart from some superstitious practices, marriage 
had no connection. 1 

But, as time went on, marriage was invested with more 
of a religious character. With the growth of anthropo- 
morphic ideas in religion many of the gods were represented 
as husband and wife. The deities who appear in the early 
literature of India marry and are given in marriage. 2 The 
union between the Sun (Surya) and Moon (Soma) is held up 
as a model of what a human marriage should be. The god 
and goddess render mutual service and lend mutual support 
to each other, and take their turn in watching and illumining 
the world. On their harmonious co-operation depends the 
prosperity as well of animate as inanimate nature, and 
the ordering of life, both of mortals and immortals. Men and 
women should therefore regulate their lives according to 
this heavenly pattern, doing their duty by each other, and 
working together for common ends. 3 

In like manner the earliest divinities who figure in the 
Greek Pantheon were said to have been united in wedlock. 
Zeus and Hera, Ouranos and Ge, Hephaistos and Aphrodite 
were among that number. Even in Italy, where anthro- 
pomorphism was never developed to the full, or at least not 
to the same extent as in Greece, some of the oldest divini- 
ties appear in pairs. Such were Saturn and Ops, Mars and 
Nerio, Neptune and Salerna. But it is significant, as 
showing the arrested development of the principle of anthro- 

1 Dr. Schrader remarks very pertinently that if a heathen priest had 
been in the habit of assisting at marriage ceremonies, the Christian 
Church at a later time would not have experienced so much difficulty in 
obtaining power over these functions. Rcallex., p. 361. Cf. Weinholcl, 
Deutsche Frauen i. 377. 

2 Cf. Atharvaveda 14, 2, 32. 

3 Rigveda 10 85, 18, 19 ; Zimmer, Alt. Leben., pp. 315, 316. 



pomorphism in Italy, that in such cases there is no issue of 
their union, and that the gods and goddesses of Italy 
possess no such genealogies as gather around their counter- 
parts in the rich mythology of Greece. 

To the above consideration another may be added, as Goddesses 

. ,.. .. . rf ... - preside 

indicating the religious aspect of the institution of marriage ovcr . 
at a later time, though not originally it was placed under the 
protection of various deities. To the patronage over 
marriage exercised by the Greek deity Demeter and the 
Latin Ceres, with whom she was identified both goddesses 
of fruitfulness reference has already been made. Roman 
marriage was the special concern of Juno, the queen-mother 
of the gods, and various titles were bestowed upon her in 
this capacity, according to the functions she fulfilled. She 
was Domiduca, Iterduca, Unxia, Pronuba, Lucina. In 
course of time, with that astonishing facility for the inven- 
tian of numina which forms the chief characteristic of the 
Roman religion, each of these attributes or qualities assumed 
a separate existence, and marriage became encompassed 
with a cloud of these shadowy beings, who made marriage 
and its attendant circumstances the object of their special 




WHEN we contemplate the Aryan family in the light of the 
facts mentioned in the foregoing chapter, we find that so far 
from offering an idyllic picture, pervaded by general equality 
and mutual tenderness, the domestic relations were coarse, 
blunt, and brutal. And there is another feature which must 
come home to the onlooker, who views the facts dispas- 
sionately it is the absence of domestic attachment. The 
truth is, however, that this state of things is in keeping with 
the general tone of society at that time, whether in Greece, 
I ta ty> or other countries. In this connection several con- 
siderations have to be borne in mind. To an uncivilized 
mind the idea of humanity in the abstract is inconceivable. 
Even at a much later time than the period under discussion, 
man simply as such possessed in the eyes of his fellow men no 
peculiar dignity. A Greek or a Roman commanded con- 
sideration, not in virtue of his being a member of the human 
race, but on the ground of his Greek or Roman citizenship. 
The Greek's consciousness of inalienable superiority led 
him to regard outlying portions of mankind with ineffable 
arrogance and scorn. They were classified together under 
the vague designation of fidpffapoi; they spoke a jargon 
which was unintelligible to Greek ears ; they could not even 
speak articulately. 1 The feeling was the same among the 

1 So much is implied in the word fidpfiapos. For its derivation see Ch. 
on Hospitality. The Chinese, as is well known, entertain a similar con- 
tempt for races other than themselves, as the following passages from Mr. 
Pickering's Pioneering in Formosa will show. " What seemed to perplex 
him about Europeans, or, * barbarians,' as he (quite innocently) termed 
us, was our amazing energy. 4 Why should we trouble ourselves so 


Romans. Hence Roman law exempted those who enjoyed 
the Roman franchise from degrading and barbarous punish- 
ments. These were reserved for those who lay outside the 
pale of Roman citizenship. Far then from possessing a 
claim upon their consideration, the stranger was viewed as 
an enemy. So much appears from the gradual extension of 
the term hostis from " stranger " to " foe." Nay more, even 
within the limits of Roman citizenship the quality of 
sympathy seems either to have been dormant or seldom 
called into play. Even in the most enlightened age 
instances rarely occur of any demonstration of sympathy 
with misfortune. When in the reign of Nero a theatre 
collapsed and buried nearly 50,000 spectators, it is recorded 
that physicians and medical appliances were despatched to 
the scene of the disaster. When Pompeii and Herculaneum 
perished in the eruption of Vesuvius, the Romans displayed 
unusual promptitude in coming to the help of the survivors. 1 
But these efforts attracted notice for the simple reason that 
they were exceptions to the general rule. 

From the absence of the idea of the claims of humanity it Human 
followed that human life was not held sacred. In the considered 


callousness with which they regarded human suffering, the 
early Greeks and Italians were upon much the same level as 
savage races of the present day. The gladiatorial shows, 
while they served, if they were not actually started, to promote 
courage and instil a contempt for death,- afford sufficient 
proof of the inhumanity of the average Roman. The treat- 
ment of slaves in Rome is even more conclusive. They were 
looked upon as fit for nothing but the cross, the stake, or the 

much, and take so much pains about anything on earth?'" p. 135. 
" The story ran that the Bangas were taught how to build their state 
houses by a ' man * (i.e. a Chinese), who was promised good pay in the 
shape of deerskins, &c.," p. 149. "As the American could not speak 
Chinese, and had no interpreter, the mandarin actually sent for a Pepo- 
Hoan to translate ; he in his ignorance of foreigners believing that one 
barbarian language was as good as another," p. 238. 

J See Pliny, Epist. vi. 16 and 20. Dion Cassius Ixvi. ch. 21. 

~ Cicero, Tusc. Disp. ii. 17. 


arena. 1 For any conception of the sanctity of human life we 
look in vain in the first city of the Roman world. 
The feeling fhe origin of the sense of humanity must be sought in the 
foitSJd^y i n fl uence of Christianity. If Christianity did not create the 
Sanity. sense it contributed in the highest degree to the growth of 
the feeling of humanity, for which we look in vain in pagan 
races. Even with the Hebrews humanity is the result of a 
slow growth. Throughout their sacred Scriptures evidence 
exists which shows only too clearly that the habits and 
sentiments of the race were tainted with the gross cruelty 
which characterized the Gentiles. Such a lack of feeling 
may be traced to various causes, partly to the brutal treat- 
ment to which they were exposed at the hands of those who 
reduced them to subjection, partly to a thirst for revenge. 
But doubtless it was mainly the outcome of the low level ot 
their own civilization. However, granting their deficiencies 
to the full, still the Hebrew writings reveal a gradually 
advancing tendency towards the sentiment of humanity. 

The next step was of the highest importance. The advent 
of the Founder of Christianity was the foundation of a new era 
of sentiment. To Him the immediate victims of wrong, the 
outcast, the destitute, the slave, owed the relaxation, if not 
the absolute removal, of their miseries. To Him who 
recognised the treasure lodged in every human form, and 
taught the sanctity of the body, the issues which depend 
upon life, and the brotherhood of mankind, were directly due 
the merciful spirit, the tender care for human suffering, and 
the reverent respect for man as man, which characterizes 
civilized nations at this day. 

ment "f**" The treatment of children affords a conspicuous example of 
children, f-fog disregard for the sacredness of human life, which is an 
Jttach^d to attribute of barbarism. The respective attitudes towards 
SSI 1 !" child-life of the Aryan races in the East and the West betray 
striking resemblances, although candour compels the con- 

1 Tacitus records that on the murder of Pedianus by one of his slaves, 
about the year A.D. 61, the rest of the household slaves, numbering four 
hundred souls, were executed (Annals, 42-45). 


fession the East benefits by the comparison. According 
to many passages in Eastern literature the possession of a 
numerous offspring is a source of happiness, a guarantee of 
prosperity, an object of prayer, and a subject of congratula- 
tion. This desire for a numerous progeny finds expression 
in many hymns to Indian gods : " Bring," cries the votary, teristic - 
addressing the deity Savitar (the quickening and vivifying 
principle 1 ), " Bring us to-day the blessing of many children." 2 
In like manner a large family was the pride of the Persians. 
Herodotus 3 states that next to bravery in battle the posses- 
sion of a numerous offspring was the strongest proof of 
manliness, and to such as could exhibit the greatest number 
the king used to send presents every year. 

The same sentiment appears in the legend of Niobe, the Legendary 
wife of Amphion, king of Thebes. The mother of six sons 
and six daughters, she rashly deemed herself superior to 
Leto, who had given birth only to a son and daughter. This 
display of motherly pride proved her ruin, and cost her 
children their lives, for Apollo and Artemis, indignant at the 
presumption, slew all her children, and Niobe herself was 
changed into stone. 4 

The Greeks and Italians, on the whole, do not appear to 
advantage in this particular, for although they showed 
considerable anxiety to secure a son who should continue 
the family line and uphold the family honour, there are 
reasons for thinking that the children's portion, at all events 
in the early stages of Greek and Italic civilization, was 
unenviable. There are conclusive proofs that parents took 
measures to relieve themselves of the trouble and to shirk 
the responsibility of rearing their children. The shortest 
way of effecting this was to destroy them before their 
birth. The prohibitions of the practice which occur in the 

1 From the root su, su.: Pres. sttvati, Aor. asavlt. Cf. Kaegi, Der 
Rigveda, p. 192. 

2 Rigveda 5, 82, 4. Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben^ p. 318. 

3 i. 136. 

4 Similarly Castor in Crete, " Ruled like a god, blessed with riches and 
sons." Odyss. xiv. 205. 


literatures of the Eastern Aryans, both Indian and Persian, 
bear testimony to the existence of the abuse, but at the same 
time evince a growing repugnance to it. The case was 
otherwise in Greece and Rome, where legal penalties 
attaching to the crime were of comparatively recent origin. 
But, as a rule, it may be concluded that the enormity was 
seldom perpetrated by those who were married, for the 
Greek and Latin patresfamilias, though not so markedly 
as their Indian and Persian kinsmen, still regarded a 
numerous progeny as a source of strength and power, 
a safeguard of their interests and a security for the 
permanence of the line. 

^ e P ass on * indicate the general position of children at 

period. a more civilized period. Although some progress had been 
made in the treatment of children their position still left 
much to be desired, and we cannot acquit either Greek or 
Roman society of inexcusable barbarity in its attitude 

Rome. towards child-life. True, the children are distinguished 
from the slaves of the household by the title of liberty " free- 
born." * Nevertheless, the paternal power (patria potestas] 
was absolute, and the observations of a well-known authority 
on Indian institutions are applicable to the Roman family. 
The father (grhin-) rules over his family, like a king over 
his subjects, or a teacher over his pupils. His wives and 
servants owe him unconditional obedience, and even his sons 
remain dependent upon him as long as he lives, even when 
(at their sixteenth year) they have attained their majority. 
In course of time limits were set to the exercise of the father's 
power, 2 but even in the historic period there are clear proofs 
that the patria potestas was no mere matter of form, but that 
the authority was at times wielded with merciless rigour. 3 

1 See Ch. on Class Distinctions ; pueri, "children," comes from the 
rootpov, which in the formpu appears \npubes, "youth," " adult,"/*///*^, 
" young animal." 

2 For these later limitations of the patria potestas see Marquadt, 
Privatleben der Romcr, i. 3. 

3 This disregard of the value of child-life, or certainly the small store 
set upon children, probably accounts for the silence of Roman historians 
on the subject of the massacre at Bethlehem. 


The position of the Roman paterfamilias, as we have 
seen, affords a forcible illustration of the survival of Aryan compared, 
usage, and the conservatism which marked Roman institu- 
tions. This trait is in keeping with the general character of 
the Roman, to whom has been assigned in a previous 
chapter 1 the special attribute of a deep reverence for 
authority, law, and duty. The Roman preserved this 
traditional trait to the end. On the other hand, the love of 
liberty distinguished Greek life, and the attitude adopted by 
the Greek with regard to the position of children in the 
social organism is faithful to this tendency of the Greek 

There is not much evidence by means of which we may Greece, 
define the authority of the head of the household in early 
Greece, but what evidence is adducible points to the develop- 
ment of family life up to a certain point on the same general 
lines as in Rome. But there the parallel ceases. Here, 
too, paramount authority was vested in the head of the 
family. The history of the word Seo-Tnm;? illustrates the 
strength of his power. The word is certainly connected with 
the Sanskrit ddmpati, and both words can be further resolved 
into the following elements : dem-, poti- (house-lord). 
But Seo-rrorr)^ gradually gained the meaning of unlimited 
master, and in that sense came to be used of despots, like 
the King of Persia and other Oriental potentates, whose 
power knew no limit. 2 There is a reasonable presumption 
in favour of supposing that in Greece also the patria potestas 
had at one time been much greater. It has been shown, 
too, in various ways that evidence exists of a time when 
much greater power resided in the hands of the father than 
would appear from his position in historic times. 3 However 
that may be, restrictions were placed upon the rights of the 

1 Ch. ii., p. 22. 

3 Herodotus iii. 89 ; Thuc. vi. 77 : cf. its application to the gods, 
Eurip., Hipp. 88 ; Xen. Anab. 3, 2, 13. 

3 See a valuable article on Kin and Custom, by Professor Jevons in 
Journal of Philology, xvi. 103. 


head of a household ; at Athens certainly a man attained 
his majority two years after reaching puberty. 

Daughters. But whatever the lot of the sons may have been in ancient 
society, the daughters fared far worse. We have already 
had occasion to notice the preference shown to sons over 
daughters, and the pretext, though inhuman, is intelligible. 
The son preserved the family from extinction. He main- 
tained the family worship. In case of peril he championed 
the rights of the family. All these causes conspired to 
enhance the importance of the son in the estimation of his 
parent and of the community. Hence a Lithuanian who 
has three sons and two daughters, if asked how many 
children (waikus) he has, will as a rule reply turiu trls 
waikus y ignoring the existence of the female children. 1 
Hence, too, the Indian devotee expresses a heartfelt desire 
in the Vedic hymn : 

" A daughter give to someone else, grant me a son." 
and again 

'* Daughters are a sorrow ; sons are the fathers' pride and glory." 2 

The foregoing considerations account for a practice which 
bespeaks a state of savagery. However much we may 
desire to defend the honour of the Greek and Italic races 
from imputations against the national character, however 
much we may be dazzled by t*heir achievements in historic 
times, we cannot blind ourselves to their essential barbarism 
and inherent cruelty. Unnatural as was such conduct, it 
cannot be doubted that children, chiefly of the female sex, 
were cast away, and fell a prey to wild beasts or starvation. 
Not to mention outlying portions of the globe, the practice 
was recognized in India up to the British occupation, and it 

1 IV&ikas, "boy." See Delbriick, Verwandschaftsnamen, p. 831 ; 
Schrader, Reallex., p. 427. 

2 Atharvaveda, 6, 1 1 ; Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, 318, 370. The same 
feeling appears in the Greek islands to-day. Cf. Bent, The Cyclades, 
p. 179. 


continues in China to this day. 1 If therefore in these two Its causes, 
ancient and comparatively civilized empires certain circum- 
stances, such as the excess of women and dearth of food, 
were supposed to justify a discrimination between a son's or 
a daughter's claims to life, still more practical and pressing 
reasons could be alleged for the leniency towards the one 
and severity towards the other in primitive times. Female 
children were then thought to be an encumbrance, useless 
for purposes of war and the chase, and at the same time 
liable to be carried off by the enemy. 2 Even males did not 
escape this summary method of extinction if they appeared 
to be unfitted for manly avocations. But in the case of the 
boys another consideration operated in the direction of 
mercy, namely, the thought which was ever present to the 
parent's mind and was often expressed in words : 

" Every mortal . . . continues his seed through child and grandchild, 
when his Aditja 3 lead with gracious guidance to overcome all mis- 

So much for the motives that have actuated the savage, 
whether of modern or prehistoric ages, to commit the 
enormity of infanticide. Before proceeding to inquire 
whether this attribute of barbarism survived in Greece and 
Italy, the evidence from two other Aryan races, one 
European the other Eastern, may be advantageously India, 
brought forward to confirm or correct our conclusions. 

The practice in ancient India is well authenticated. Mytho- Myth, 
logy affords evidence of the custom. Aditi, the goddess of the 

1 Cf. Pickering's Pioneering in Formosa. "While the status of the 
parent is so well secured, the position of the female children is deplor- 
able, and infanticide is common throughout the empire, in spite of 
Buddhistic humanity " (p. 58). " The people informed me that they had 
brought the practice over from the. mainland ; and I discovered that 
the aborigines, both civilized and savage, look with horror upon the 
Chinese for their inhumanity in this respect " (p. 61). 

3 In Tahiti girls rather than boys were thus disposed of, because they 
were of less use in war and fishing. 

3 Rigveda 10, 63, 13. The Aditja are the personifications of light, 
and dwell in the highest realm, or bright regions of heaven, but do not 
belong to the highest order of gods. 



Eternal and the Imperishable, 1 exposed her child to death ; 
she thereby established a precedent and gave her sanction 
to the practice amongst mortals. Accordingly we find 
passages which clearly enjoin the practice. In the Taittiriya- 
Samhitd * occurs the following sentence : tasmdt striyam 
parasyanti, utpumcinsam haranti. Attempts have been made to 
explain it away, but repellent as the sentence sounds, it cannot 
in the light of kindred practices in India and other countries 
be interpreted in any other sense 3 than the following: 
"Therefore a girl is exposed, a boy is taken up," i.e., from 
the ground at birth, when his fate is trembling in the 
balance, and awaits the decision of the father. But, in 
matter of fact, this passage is only one of several bearing 
upon the custom, 4 which lasted on till 1834, when steps 
were taken to abolish it. 5 

Greece. It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the practice 
was countenanced by public opinion in Greece also. The 

Myth. gods of Olympus likewise lent their sanction to it. Thus, 
Hera, the only really married goddess among the Olympian 
circle, the patroness of marriage and the birth of children, 
by her treatment of her son set the example of unmotherly 
conduct, and in this matter proved a worthy daughter of 
Cronos, who (so ran the story) swallowed his children. 6 
The god of fire, Hephaistos, was delicate and weakly from 
birth, as a flame arises out of a little spark. With a genuine 
Greek aversion from physical deformity, his mother, Hera, 
took a dislike to her offspring, and, to rid herself of the 
encumbrance, dropped him from Olympus. 7 The lesser 

1 Kaegi, Der Rigveda p. 194. Cf. Max Miiller, Vorlesungen uber den 
Ursprung und die Entivickelung der Religion^ Strassburg, 1880. 
* 6, 5, 10, 3. 

3 See Schrader, Reallex. 53, and Bohtlingk in Z. d. D. Morgenl. Ges. 
xliv. 494. 

4 Cf. A. Weber, Indische Streifen, 5, 54, 260 ; Zimmer, Altindisches 
Leben, p. 319. 

5 So, too, among the Northmen, Dasent, The Story of Burnt Njal, 

6 Apollodor i. 65. 

7 See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mytho- 
logy, sub. v. Hera. 


luminaries of the Greek pantheon were not slow to imitate 
the example set by the goddess, and we find in legend 
Tyro, the wife of Cretheus and the beloved of the river-god 
Enipeus in Thessaly, exposing her child to death. Hence 
mortals need not feel any scruple. Accordingly Laius pierces 
his new-born son's feet, binds them together, and casts him 
away on Mount Cithaeron. Pelopia exposes her child 
Aigisthos immediately after his birth, but he was fortunately 
found by shepherds, rescued, and suckled by a goat, a 
circumstance from which he took his name. 1 Under the 
august patronage of gods and demi-gods the practice con- 
tinued to flourish in Greece down to a late time. 

Sparta illustrates the principles that underlie the usage, 
and it requires no abstruse explanation to account for this. 
It is a commonplace of history that the very existence of the 
Spartan commonwealth depended upon the maintenance of 
its male population. It was founded upon the ruins of an 
earlier race, who had been reduced to serfdom and were kept 
under by a periodical massacre, the Hpim-reta, conducted by 
night. The sternness of the discipline observed in the 
Spartan state was proverbial. Its constitution, the life of 
its citizens, and the whole system of training its youth aimed 
at securing a high military efficiency. We should not be sur- 
prised, therefore, to find female infanticide practised here on a 
large scale. Such proves to be the case. Nay, more, when 
the child was weak and sickly, exposure was compulsory, 
with the proviso, however, that the father should bring it to 
the eldest of the tribesmen 2 for inspection. The actuating 
principle in this instance lies on the very surface ; since war 
thinned the ranks of the men and spared the women, the 
greatest store was set upon the possession of male children. 

But the custom was by no means confined to Sparta, and 

1 ai, " a goat." Hygin., Fab. 87, 88 ; Julian., V.H. xii. 42. Shepherds 
are familiar figures in such legends. Cyprus was given to a herdsman to 
be exposed and was saved ; and Oedipus was discovered by a shepherd in 
the service of King Polybus, of Corinth. Very often the ties so contracted 
were considered more binding than blood itself. 

2 irptirpvraToi r>v (J>V\(T>V. Plut. Lycurg. c. 1 6. 


other motives co-operated; the sentiment of a couplet in 
Stobaeus : 


Ovyarepa S' efCTt'0i?<H, KOLV rj TrAoucrios. 1 

bears witness at once to the commonness of the practice and 
the callousness of the public mind. 

The technical term for casting out children to the mercy 
of wild beasts or starvation is evxyrpi&iv, to expose in an 
earthenware vessel (xvrpa), which afterwards came to mean 
" make an end of," as in the Wasps of Aristophanes : 

avrjp Tr 



According to the Scholiast on the same passage the word 
ej^vrpla-Tpia was applied to women 3 who performed the 

Nowhere was the paternal authority stronger in theory 
and more strictly enforced in practice than at Rome, and 
as might be expected, exposure was not considered repugnant 
to national morality. The earliest story connected with the 
foundation of Rome, after we pass from the misty region of 
mythology to historic ground, opens with the exposure of 
Romulus. The legend bears a close resemblance to stories 
which were current among other races, and is doubtless 
derived from the same source. It was to the following 
effect : Amulius, the uncle of Romulus, found means to 
supplant Numitor, a brother, and not content with the 
crime of usurpation, he added to it the sin of murder. 
Numitor's sons fell a sacrifice to his ambition, and he doomed 
his brother's only daughter to perpetual celibacy by making 
her a Vestal Virgin. But his precautions were frustrated in 
the event and her children by the god Mars were flung into 

1 Serm. Ixxvii. 7. " Even if a man be poor he rears a son, even if he 
be rich he exposes a daughter." 

2 288. " For a man of substance, one of those who betrayed our 
interests in Thrace, has come ; see that you pot him." 

3 Cf. KaTaxvTpi&tv in the same sense, Arist. Frag. 626. 


the Tiber, only to be suckled by a wolf and saved by 
Faustulus, the king's herdsman. 1 

But evidence exists other than that which is supplied by Law. 
legendary lore. It was recognized in historic times also that 
the father had an inalienable right to rear his children or 
not at his will. Did the Indian or Greek " take up " his 
new-born son (TraiSa? ai/atpen-at) 2 1 By a similar formality the 
Roman father owns his child (tollere, suscipere liberos). 
Unquestionably the Latin phrase also refers to the literal 
lifting up of the child from the bare ground and handing it 
over to the women to be reared. Was the motive that 
weighed with the Spartan father a desire to rear a race of 
warriors 1 We cannot conceive a different principle actuating 
the fathers of the Roman state, who were bent upon the 
conquest of the world. 3 Did the laws of Sparta, in order to 
prevent abuse or deception, insist upon the production of 
the child and examination by the heads of the tribe ? So, in 
like manner, a law attributed to Romulus, himself a victim of 
the cruel custom, required that the child should be brought into 
the presence of five witnesses 4 before its fate was decided, 
and if the father, without these preliminaries, consigned it 
to destruction, a heavy punishment awaited him. 5 The 
above mentioned enactment did not include any female 
children within its scope except the firstborn, and even as 
regards sons it is clear that at a later time the law fell into 
abeyance or was openly disregarded. Under the Republic 
new-born children, whether male or female, were exposed 
to death with impunity. True, evidence is forthcoming of 

1 Livy i. 4 ; similarly in Herodotus i. no, Cyprus is exposed by the 
command of the king Astyages ; his life is preserved by the herdsman 
Mithridates, and his wife Spaco, the equivalent of the Greek Kuno. 

3 Cf. lltad*\\. 8 : Plut. Anton. 36 : Arist. Clouds. 531. For the Indian 
expression see the passage quoted from the Taittirlya-Samhitd^ above, 
p. 162. 

3 Cf. Marquadt, Privatleben der Romer, p. 3, i ; p. 81, note i. 

4 Dionysius, Halic. ii. 15. 

5 Cf. Montesquieu, Esprit des lots, xxiii. A precisely similar formality 
was observed in India, Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 320 ; and in Germany, 
Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt., 455 ; Weinhold, Deutsche Fraucn, 75 ; 
Altnordisches Leben , 260. 


a distinct improvement in the position of children, and the 
Roman nation at a later day fully felt the moral obligation 
childhood" on the part of parents towards their children. The poet of 
the first century of our era, in a satire on home influence, 
sounds a note of warning against their neglect : 

" Maxima debetur puero reverentia." l 

and he doubtless does but echo the public sentiment, which 
was dictated as much by political or national considera- 
^ ons as by tenderness of feeling. But granting all this, the 
father could not be deprived of the right over his children's 
life and limb. Only in the time of Hadrian was the custom 
pronounced a crime and finally abolished. 2 

The attitude taken up by the Greeks towards the question 
of child-life, as we have had occasion to remark, exhibits a 
superiority over public sentiment among the Romans. 
There is clear evidence that in the period portrayed in the 
Homeric poems human ideas had gained ground. The 
Greeks of that day exhibited a strong parental tenderness. 3 
This is most striking in the Iliad, as, for example, in the 
passage 4 which describes how Hector soothes his son's 
alarm at his helmet's nodding plume. Again, the deeply 
pathetic scene where the widowed Andromache laments the 
lot of her orphan child, 5 is perhaps unsurpassed in the 
Homeric poems. It may be that this is the language of a 
poetic idealism, and that the characters portrayed are a 
creation of the poet's fancy. It may be also that these calm 
scenes of home life were invented by the poet purposely as a 
contrast to the horrors and the glories of war. Still, the 
naturalness of the descriptions points at once to the fact 

Juvenal Sat. xiv. 47. " A child has a claim to the deepest respect. 5 ' 

a Cf. Brunnenmeister Totungsverbrechen, p. 148. 

Cf. Odyss. xi. 452 ; vi. 153; xi. 538. Iliad iv. 130; xii. 433. Un- 
natural conduct on the part of the parent, as seen in the mother of 
Eurypylos, is viewed with abhorrence. Odyss. xi. 521. 

4 vi. 466. Cf. v. 406. 

5 The position of the orphan is implied by contrast in the striking word 
in Homer for a child whose parents are both living. d^idaXrjs xxii. 496. 
" Flourishing on both sides.'' 


that such domestic relations were frequent and familiar 
features of Greek life, and led to an improvement in the 
position of children and to an appreciation of them. 

In like manner the child cherishes deep respect for the Th . e 

... attitude 01 

parent, and of this filial regard the scene in which Priam sup- J^jJJJJjJ 
plicates for the body of his son Hector affords an interesting P ar n t. 
illustration. 1 The conqueror Achilles, embittered by the 
loss of his bosom friend Patroclos, has long turned a deaf 
ear to all entreaty. Neither the rights of god nor of man 
have any weight with him. But the sight of the aged king 
of Troy breaks down his resolution ; it brings vividly before 
him his own father at home, and he yields. 

Nevertheless, admitting the alleviation of the lot of chr i s - 

. . tianity and 

children in historic Greece and Rome, it is a far cry to the childhood, 
modern conceptions of the duties owed by age to childhood. 
Whether Christianity dictated the final extinction of in- 
fanticide in the time of the Roman Empire we need not 
inquire. However that may have been, it was Christianity 
that sounded the knell of the maltreatment of children, and 
with every successive generation society recognized more and 
more that their helplessness constituted a claim on the 
compassion of adults. 2 

1 7/iWxxiv. 486. 

2 The eighteenth century furnishes us with an instance to show how 
little value is set on child-life when the sanctions of religion lose their 
power. It is stated on unimpeachable authority (his own) that Rousseau 
sent his five children to the Foundling Hospital. Even in the Nineteenth 
Century there were ominous indications of a similar callousness arising 
from a similar indifference to religion. Some years ago a French writer, 
J. K.-Huysmans advocated the legalization of infanticide, and denounced 
St. Vincent de Paul for his " odious precautions in deferring for years the 
death of creatures without intelligence." See the Nineteenth Century, 
May, 1888, p. 673. This was in the writer's atheistic days. Since then 
he has been received into the bosom of an " infallible Church," and has 
related his mental conflicts in his novels, En Route and La CatMdralc. 




THE way in which the aged are treated is an index at once 

tanceofthe + ...... 

subject. to national character, and to the grade of civilization 
attained. As regards Greece and Italy, the attitude assumed 
towards old age is on a par with the treatment of children, 
which has been discussed in the previous chapter. The 
absence of the filial instinct is closely connected with the 
indifference to child-life, if not a direct consequence of it. 
For the barbarity in the treatment of the child would in its 
turn bear fruit in a retaliatory treatment of the parent. We 
miss among the early Greeks and Italians that reverence 
for parents which is rewarded by the promise of long life 
and prosperity among the Hebrews. 1 It would be wrong, 
however, to adopt the modern standard of taste and pro- 
priety, or expect to find in the tenth century before Christ 
came the moral principles which are acknowledged in the 
twentieth century of the Christian era. 

f g e e s the tfor ^ m dern Europeans who have breathed the atmosphere 
sfow tofa ^ Christianity with its sympathetic tenderness towards 
growth, suffering or weakness, or even have fallen unconsciously 

1 Exodus xx. 12. " Honour thy father and thy mother ; that thy days 
may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Cf. 
Pythag. 4; Iliad i. 214; xvii. 301; Hesiod, Works and Days, 331 ; 
Theogn. 819 ; Phocylid. 6 ; Plutarch, de Frat. Amor. p. 479 ; Xen. Mem.\\. 
c. ii. 13; ibid. iv. c. iv. 20; Virg. Georg. iv. 548; Aeneid. ii. 606; Ovid, 
Heroid. Epist. xiv. 53 ; Catull. ix. 61. The advantage in this particular 
lies with the East rather than the West. No race surpasses the Chinese 
in filial devotion ; with them it is the first commandment and the basis 
of the whole moral law, and no race has more conspicuously inherited 
the promise of length of days in the land allotted to them which the 
Hebrew writings hold out to reverence for parents. 


under its indirect influence, any harshness in the treatment 
of infirmity or infancy is naturally repugnant. Under the 
influence of the Christian religion, as has been seen, an idea 
of humanity has arisen which was foreign to the ancient 
world. Respect for age has now received a moral and 
religious sanction. But in reality it is the result of a very 
gradual growth ; indeed, no institution or idea affords a 
clearer proof of the evolution of the civilization of Greece 
and Rome from a primitive barbarism. 

It is impossible to escape from the conclusion that in the 
earliest times of which we have any record the aged were f^*^ j." iest 
put to death. The practice of exposing or otherwise times - 
disposing of the aged or infirm was widespread. It is o f r th* lence 
found to have existed among the un-Aryan Massagetae, 1 and custom - 
other races who occupied countries contiguous to Greece, 
or were connected by race with the Greeks. But so common 
was the usage that we must confine ourselves to one or two 
instances which are most relevant to our purpose. The 
Indians, according to the Atharvaveda, invoked the spirits 
not only of their ancestors who had been regularly interred 
or burnt, but of those who had been exposed. 2 In conformity 
with this custom we find a prayer offered over the cradle of 
the newborn son to the following effect: "May he not 
strike his father, nor neglect the mother that bare him." 3 
The abundant evidence of the practice which is at our 
disposal leaves us in no doubt whatever as to the motives 
which influenced the relatives and friends in resorting to the 
practice and methods that they employed. 

Hunger sometimes forced them to take this step; for u e se8 . 
primitive races have no more formidable foe to encounter than famine - 
famine. Of this state of things the following incident 
affords an illustration : " My attention," says an American 
author, " was directed to a very aged and emaciated man 

1 Herodotus i. 216 ; Strabo xi. 8, 6. 

2 Atharvaveda 18, 2, 34 ; Zimmer, Altindisches Lcben, p. 328. 

3 Rigveda 10, 95 ; Zimmer, Ibid. 327. 


of the tribe, who he told me was to be exposed. The tribe 
was going where hunger and dire necessity compelled them 
to go, and this pitiable object, who had once been a chief, 
and a man of distinction in his tribe, who was now too old 
to travel, being reduced to mere skin and bones, was to be 
left to starve, or meet with such death as might fall to his 

lot, and his bones be picked up by the wolves His 

friends and his children had all left him, and were preparing 
in a little time to be on the march. He had told them to 
leave him ; ' he was old,' he said, ' and too feeble to march.' 
.... This cruel custom of exposing their aged people, 
belongs, I think, to all the tribes who roam about the prairies, 
making severe marches. When such decrepit persons 
are totally unable to go, unable to ride or walk, when they 
have no means of carrying them, it often becomes abso- 
lutely necessary .... that they should be left ; and they 
uniformly insist upon it, saying, as this old man did, that 
they are old and of no further use, that they left their 
fathers in the same manner, that they wish to die, and their 
children must not mourn for them." l It is impossible to 

Aryan doubt that the Aryan races in their progress into unexplored 
regions, beset by hostile populations, would be reduced to a 
similar plight, and that we have in the picture presented 
here a scene which would be often enacted in the early 

Migration, history of Aryan nations. For, as has been observed in a 
previous chapter, the pressure of hunger drove them onward 
to seek new homes in the more genial climate and fertile 
countries on the Mediterranean. Nor did they escape the 
danger of famine by their migration. Even their permanent 
or final settlement in the Southern continents did not free 
them from apprehensions on this score. Now, all food 
supplies belonged to the community, 2 and care had to be 

1 Catlin, North American Indians, Letter 27. Cf. Gumilla, Histoire 
de POrmogue, Avignon, 1758 ; Steller, on Kamtchatka, pp. 294, 295, 395 ; 
and Count von Beniowski in Foster's Collection of Notable Modern 
Travels, p. 380. 

2 See Chapter on Property. 


exercised in husbanding the resources available. The rule 
was that he who could not fight should not eat. Accord- 
ingly, the aged and infirm, who would be the first to feel the 
pangs of hunger, would be the first to be sacrified to meet 
the emergency. We should then expect to find that a Germany, 
warlike race like the Germans would be peculiarly sus- 
ceptible to that argument, and, as a matter of fact, there is 
abundant evidence of the influence of such considerations 
among that people. 1 To the same cause the historian 
Strabo 2 ascribes the practice of the custom or law (VO/AO?) Greece, 
in Ceos, one of the Cyclades. He states in effect that in 
that island a law required all those who were over sixty 
years of age to take poison, in order to avoid depriving the 
younger members of the community of proper means of sub- 
sistence. In like manner speaks Heraclides Ponticus. He 
says : " Old men do not wait for their end, but before they 
fall sick or become cripples take themselves off by means of 
poppy or hemlock juice." We shall doubtless be justified 
in concluding that in early Europe failure of crops or 
reverses in border warfare or similar calamities frequently 
reduced the population to extremities. In such emergencies 
it would be found that the infirm could best be spared, 
useless as they would be for the chief demand upon the 
strength of the tribe, namely, warfare, and the chief sources 
of subsistence, the chase and husbandry. 3 

The stern exigencies of war perhaps more than any other J e h 8 e p *f c e h ed 
circumstance tended to quench the instincts of pity. While 
they were engaged, as must have been the case down to a 
late period, in endless tribal and border wars, the weak 
were felt to be not merely a drain upon the public supplies, 
but an embarrassment on the march. When the aged there- 
fore were no longer able to bear arms and, besides, proved 

1 See Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt.< 488 ; Von Ihering, p. 332. 

486. Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 37. For an echo of this tradition in 
Modern Greece see Bent, The Cyclades, p. 324. 

:< Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Ra lit salt., p. 488, on the practice of Gipsies and 
North American Indians. 


an encumbrance, they were often despatched. It is well 
known that such was the practice of the Bactri, 1 the Wends, 
the Lithuanians, and the Germans of the mainland, and in 
all probability we can predicate the same of a nation so 
warlike by instinct, so devoted to the pursuit, and so self- 
sacrificing in accomplishing their military ambitions as the 
Romans. 2 

As^a reHef Sometimes the aged were killed from motives of ctompas- 

i7f e series of s i n - The sensibility of savages to the miseries of life is 
attested by the frequent practice of suicide in cases of 

suicide, incurable disease or misfortune. The horrors of the system 
of despatching the infirm which has come under our notice 
is somewhat mitigated by the reflection that it was some- 
times not merely prompted by prudential reasons or selfish 
motives, but for the sake of relieving the aged of the burden 

fpiSuS? ' of life - Of this Deling we find an illustration in Melanesia. 3 
We read the following account : The aged mother had 
been thrown into her grave, " and she was not dead." The 
writer proceeds " She had implored them to take her life, 
as she did not want to survive her daughter, so they bound 
the living and the dead together, and then trod the mother 
to death. . . . The deed was done by her own sons, 
and I suppose they thought they did her good service." 

Buddha. The truth is that savages set little store on life, and, as has 
been remarked before, frequently rid themselves of the evils 
attendant upon old age by taking their own lives. The 
incident which led Gautama to embrace a hermit's vocation, 
and spend his years in solitude and meditation is related in 
Indian literature. 4 It was the mournful sight of a man spent 
with age, worn out with labour, and undermined with 
disease. This reflection strikes the keynote of the Buddhist 

1 Strabo xi. n, 3. 2 Cf. Grimm, Ibid. vol. i. ch. iv. 

3 How, The Life of Bishop J. Selivyn, p. 152. Cf. Max Miiller, Chips 
from a German Workshop, vol. i. 59. He cites a parallel case from Fiji. 

Helvetius, De V esprit ii. 13, remarks that the natives of the Congo 
despatched chronic invalids : " C'est disent ils pour les epargner les 
douleurs de 1'agonie " or " pour les arracher a la douleur." 

4 Cf. Max Miiller, Chips from a German Workshop i. p. 211. 


religion founded by Gautama, which professes to hold out no 
more than a means of refuge from the sins and sorrows of 
this miserable world by annihilation. Such also was the sad 
estimate of old age which the Heruli, a German tribe, had Germany. 
formed.' The historian Procopius informs us that they were 
in the habit of cutting short the life of the aged and the 
diseased : 

ovre yap yr)pd(rKov<nv oure vtxrovcrii/ avrois /3ioTuav f^rjv' aAA.' 
TIS auraii/ rj yrjpa. y i/ocru) aAxin;, cTrai/ay/ces ol eya/cro 


This people resorted to this expedient in the belief that 
they were thus ensuring the happiness of their kinsman, and 
failure to carry out the wishes of the invalid was a dereliction 
of duty. Other instances might be adduced to show that the 
relatives in such a case thought they were doing their kinsman 
service by helping him to his grave by exposure, a cup of 
poison or a bowstring, 2 and in most cases no objection was 
raised by the victims themselves. Though there is no 
positive evidence of the existence of this motive among the 
Greek and Italic races, it would be unsafe to assume that it 
did not weigh with them also. On the contrary, the general 
spirit of Greek and Italian life would appear to warrant the 
conclusion that this argument would appeal to them as much 
as, if not more than to other races of the same blood. 

The necessity of propitiating angry divinities was ever 
present to the ancient mind, and afforded another justification sacrifice. 
of their treatment of the aged. This blighting superstition, 
as is well known, has at all times led to the observance 
of human sacrifice, to which, in spite of all efforts to 

1 De Bello Gothico ii. 14. " For if they were growing old or diseased 
they were not allowed to live ; but when any one of them was overtaken 
by old age or disease, he was obliged to request his kinsmen to cut him 
off from among men as soon as possible." 

2 Cf. Garcia Lasso de la Vega, on the Peruvians, vii. 17, and Pelloutier, 
Histoire des Ccltes, ii. ch. 28 ; Zeiler, Episteln, 529 ; Grimm, Deutsche 
Rechtsalterthumer, p. 486. Dr. George Brandes, in his Impressions of 
Russia, p. 27, gives an illustration of the Russian indifference to death 
in the time of the Crimean War, when the comrades of a wounded 
soldier buried him alive out of pity. 


palliate the crime or explain away the evidence, it is clear 
that Greek as well as Roman resorted with a view to 
averting public calamities. Since, therefore, it is idle to 
deny the existence of the practice even in the historic period, 
there is a reasonable presumption that in earlier times the 
usage was at once more common and more terrible. Neither 
can we doubt that the aged would be among the first to fall 
victims to the anger of the gods. The same thought doubt- 
less lies at the root of another custom which obtained 
apparently in more than one country, the inhabitants of 
which were of Aryan descent. It is well known that on 
the Ides of May figures of men, twenty-three in number, 
called argei, were thrown into the river Tiber from the Pons 


Sublicius}- It was the general belief of the ancients that these 
effigies took the place of the earlier human sacrifices, offered 
presumably to the river god Tiberinus, who frequently 
flooded the land which lay on his banks, and the tradition 
doubtless rests upon an historic basis. True, the Roman 
antiquaries, jealous of their countrymen's honour, repudiated 
the notion, but in the light of other institutions at Rome and 
similar customs in other countries, the usage does not admit 
of the explanation which their patriotism prompted them to 
offer. Festus doubtless represents the true state of the case 
when he says, Sexagenaries de ponte dejidebant? but he 
proceeds to suggest another solution. According to this 
theory men of that age were no longer admitted to vote in 
the saepta or enclosures in the Plain of Mars, and if they tried 
to enter they were thrust down from the bridge that led to 

customs" 8 tnem - But tne history of other races furnishes parallels to 
the sacrifice of old men. Such a custom obtained in Egypt, 
where human beings were offered to the Nile. 3 Such appears 
to have been the practice among the Wends, for there exists 

Germany, a Low German saying which, as the oldest inhabitants declare, 

1 Varro, L.L. 7, 44, Miiller ; Ov. Fasti, v. 621. 

2 P- 334> Miiller : " They used to throw men of sixty years (of age) 
from a bridge." Cf. Varro ap. Non. 523, 21. 

3 Lindemann, Gesch. der Meinungen, part vii., 181. 


was once used as a prayer when the old men were sacrificed 
to the river god. It ran as follows : Kruup miner, Kniup 
miner, de Welt is di grain. 1 Altogether it may be safe to 
conclude that the Latin terms arget, depontani, and sexagenarii 
de ponte are nothing but reminiscences of an ancestral custom 2 
by which the aged were literally offered to propitiate the god 
of the stream. Additional weight is lent to the presumption 
by the substitution elsewhere of similar effigies or figures for 
the original human beings. Of these pious frauds we shall 
have occasion to speak later. Here one illustration will 
suffice. The oracle had enjoined the sacrifice of a man 3 
(<f>&>9) in the words : 

Kttl KC<^oAa ""AlSiy KCU TO) TTOLTpl TTC/ATTCre <tOTa. 4 

The worshippers interpreted this to mean not human 
heads 'and human life (<o>9), and by a play upon words a 
light (<<w?) was substituted for the original offering. 

Another reason why the aged were put to death remains Bearing 
for consideration. It will be remembered that the early a f futu7 e s 
Greek and Italian, like many savage races of to-day, age. n 
regarded the future life as a continuation of the present. 
Accordingly the physical condition of the dead would 
be the same as when they departed this life. We find a 
suggestion of this in Homer's description of the Shades 
below. He makes Odysseus seek their haunts, and among 
these unearthly visitants appear " brides and youths and 
worn-out men." 

1 Von Ihering, p. 356. "Creep under, creep under, the world is 
grievous to thee." Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt., p. 487. Baring 
Gould. Curious Survivals, p. 32, states that while building a new bridge 
at Halle, which was completed in 1843, the people wished to immure a 
child in the foundation to ensure its stability. 

- Cf. Cicero, pro Sexto Roscio 35. Habeo etiam dicere, quern contra 
morem maiorum, minorem annis Ix. de ponte in Tiberim deiecerit. 

3 Dionys. i. 19. "And send heads to Hades, and to thy father a man." 
Macrob. i. 7, 28. 

4 xi. 38. Lines 38-43 were rejected by Zenodotus as being inconsistent 
with the detailed scenes. Vergil imitated them in Georg. iv. 471. Cf. 

. vi. 306. 


It is not improbable, therefore, that the desire to embark 
on a new career before bodily decay had set in recon- 
ciled the aged Greek or Italian to being hurried from the 
scene of this present world. His tastes and faculties too 
would find exercise, whether as hunter or warrior, in the 
world to come. As, then, the victim would wish to depart 
with a healthy and sound frame, so his kinsmen would feel 
less compunction in releasing him from his sufferings on 

NO punish- The harsh treatment of the aged lies beyond dispute, and, 
parricide, further, it throws light upon another striking circumstance 
connected with the early legislation of Greece and Italy. 
It is a fact that in the laws enacted by the early legislators 
there is no provision for the punishment of parricide. The 
omission is significant. It would appear at first sight as if 
the crime was inconceivable, and that therefore the con- 
tingency was not contemplated or the thought entertained. 
But plausible as the explanation may appear, 1 and creditable 
as the sentiment would be to the feelings of the race, we 
shall doubtless be justified in dismissing it. The probability 
is that at that time, when the power of the head of the 
household depended upon force, when his will was un- 
disputed and he did what was right in his own eyes, the 
community was unable or deemed it imprudent to interfere 
with domestic government. 

stm age The growth of civilization, and especially the increase in the 

wfth e re- comforts of life, wrought a change in the condition of the aged, 

pugnance. an< ^ fafe i ea( j s us t o w hat ma y be considered as a second 

stage in the treatment of them. The feeling of repulsion 

with which old age was viewed lasted long after the practice 

of putting the aged to death was altogether abandoned or 

became a rarer occurrence. To the aesthetic joy-loving 

Greek a feeling of repugnance against decrepitude with its 

attendant miseries constantly clung, and it finds utterance 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex.^ p. 38, and Brunnenmeister, Das Totungsver* 
brechen, p. 190. 


in legend and literature. The story of Tithonus reflects the 
sentiment. In answer to the prayers of Eos, the goddess of 
the Morn, who loved him, he obtained of the gods the gift 
of immortality, but not eternal youth or freedom from the 
taint of bodily decay. The consequence was that he wasted 
away in his old age, and implored to be released from the 
burden of the flesh. 1 

To the same sentiment the German rhyme gives expres- Germany. 

sion : 

50 jahr geht alter an, 
60 jahr ist wolgethan, 
70 jahr ein greis, 
80 jahr schneeweisz, 
90 jahr der kinder spott, 
100 jahr gnad' dir Gott. 2 

The estimate which Homer appears to have formed would Homer - 
appear to have been a melancholy one. Old age is depicted 
by him as full of misery : It is ^aXe-Trw, " grievous " ; 
(rrvyepov, " loathly," or "hateful"; \wypov, "miserable," 
"wretched"; o\obv, " baneful," destructive "; 3 and the aged 
are "full of labour and sorrow" (rro\vT\rjToi f 7ro\v7rev0ety . 4 
The poet sings in a similar strain in one of the hymns 
attributed to him : 

y7/3as ovXofievovj KafjLarr)p6v t o -re arvytovo't 0eoi 

Nor does Hesiod form a higher opinion of old age, for he 
makes " Old age the destructive " a son of Night and brother 
to Deception and Strife. 6 

1 Hymn in Ven. 219, Hesiod, Theog. 984. 

2 Grimm, Das Alter, p. 41. 

Fifty years old age comes on, 
Sixty years is well done, 
Seventy years an old man, 
Eighty years snow-white, 
Ninety years the children's laughing-stock, 
Hundred years, God help thee ! 
a Iliad \\\\. 103 ; xix. 336 ; v. 153 ; xxiv. 487. 
4 Odyss. xi. 38 ; xiv. 386. 

& In Ven. 246, "Old age, destructive, burdensome, which the gods 
themselves loathe." 

Theog. 22$. Cf. Sophocles, Ocd. Col. 1234; Eurip. Here. Fur. 639. 
ytpw rvppos, Eurip. Med., 1209 ; Here. Fur., 167 ; Aristoph. Lys. t 372 ; 
and Plautus " capuli decus," As. 5, 2, 42. 



The reason for this repugnance to old age is not far to 
seek. To the Greek mind, imbued as it was with a sense 
^ narm o n y> the perfection of manhood consisted in a happy 
manhood, adjustment of a healthy mind and a healthy body. The 
educational system of Athens was directed to the attain- 
ment of this end, and vigorous health was the highest w r ish 
of the Athenian : 

'Yytaivfiv fj,V apicrrov dvBpl 

Scvrepov Se </>i uv KOL\OV yevc 

TO rpirov & ir\ovreiv dSoAo)?, 

Kol TO Ttraprov fjfiav /ACTOL TWV ^tAwi/. 1 

The But the ideal was not absent from the Greece of Homer. 


of We see there that as Odysseus by the combination of mental 
^ P^y slC3i ^ graces commanded admiration, so for want of 
paired by them Thersites excited aversion. 2 

But there is no evidence that in the Homeric conception 
of old age decrepitude was attended by dotage. On the 
contrary, what old age lost in bodily infirmity, it gained in 
experience and wisdom, as was the case with ^Egyptus, who 
was " bowed with age, and skilled in things past number." 8 
Age now forms a title to consideration ; the typical old man 
in Homer, thanks to the simplicity of his life, retains his 
bodily vigour to a ripe age. When he was young his 
pursuits were war and the chase. He could shoot at the 
mark and wield the lance with the best of them. He, too, 
was fleet of foot, and he stood in the forefront of the battle. 
Those days are gone. But he lives by reflected glory. He 
lives again in his representatives, his sons or his sons' sons, 
who bear his name, and uphold the family honour. He 
rejoices and takes pride in their skill in hurling the spear 
or bending the bow. 4 

1 Bergk, Poet. Lyr. Gr. 3, 1289, 8. "Good health is the greatest 
blessing to a mortal man; the second to be of handsome stature; the 
third to be wealthy without guile ; and the fourth to company with his 
friends in his prime." Cf. the Indian's desire, Rigveda 2, 21, 6 ; Kaegi, 
p. 44- 

2 Iliad \\. 211-271. 3 nvpia jjdrj, Odyss. ii, 16. 
4 Cf. Odyss. iv. 206; Iliad \x. 255. 


There is a significant distinction between the Dorian and 


Ionian in this respect. Of this difference a well-known 
anecdote in Greek history affords an interesting instance. It 
happened at Athens during a public representation in the 
theatre, that an old man arrived too late to find a place 
suitable to his station. As he stood, out of countenance, he 
was exposed to the ridicule of the whole assembly. There- 
upon some Lacedemonian ambassadors who were present 
observing his predicament, beckoned him to them, rose up 
to a man and received him with every sign of respect. 
Touched by this exhibition of tenderness, and ashamed of 
their own degeneracy, the whole audience greeted the act 
with thunders of applause, and the remark was made, 
" The Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacede- 
monians practise it." But perhaps the cause was more 
deep-seated, and is to be looked for in the different circum- 
stances and character of the Dorian and Ionian races. It 
may have been due to the simpler habits of the warlike 
Dorian, which shielding him alike from indulgence and 
indolence, conduced to a longer life and a haler old age than 
the luxurious habits of the Ionian. It may be also that the 
importance attached by the lonians to brilliant talent and 
capacity, and especially to power of speech, tended to throw 
influence into the hands of the younger generation. But 
whatever the cause, the fact remains that the aged were 
held in deeper reverence at Sparta than at Athens. " They 
honour old men," says Nicolas of Damascus, " no less 
than their fathers." 

The treatment of the aged at Sparta is a survival from veneration 
the Homeric period in historic times ; for in Homer the 
old man, far from being a butt of scorn, is an object of 
solicitude. He stands in the position of a father to the 
young and middle-aged. He is therefore addressed as 
arra, " good father " (a very old form of endearment), and 
not only by those of his own kindred. 1 He is revered as a 

1 Iliad r ix. 607 ; Odyss. xvi. 31. Cf. Sanskrit attd, "mother " ; Gothic, 
, "forefather" ; Church Slavonic afici, "father." 


father, 1 and looked upon with veneration (at'SoW). 3 His very 
helplessness constitutes a claim upon the public regard. 
Nor is this all. He is honoured by the gods, 3 who resent any 
affront offered to him, and visit the offender with condign 
punishment. 4 

parents? f This cnan g e of attitude towards old age reacted upon the 
position of parents. No longer are they cast out to wild 
beasts and birds of prey, but care of the aged, especially in 
the case of parents, is now inculcated as an imperative duty. 

fnTcffeek The d utv * cherishing parents, if only out of gratitude on 

laws. j. ne p ar o f t ne children for their own nurture and the care 
bestowed upon themselves, is strictly enjoined in Roman 
law. 5 The Athenians went still further. They required at 
the hands of a candidate for office proof of the satisfactory 
performance of his duties towards his father and mother. 6 
To offer violence, and still more to kill a father or mother, 
was an offence of the deepest dye 7 (aTropprjrov, "unspeak- 
able"). It called down the vengeance of the Erinyes, who 
would brook no insult to parents unreturned and no injury 

Literature. No less important is the duty in the estimation of the 
poets, for example, Hesiod. 8 The poet is balancing the 
advantages and disadvantages of marriage, and observes that 
the unmarried man will have no one to care for him in old 
age, and he will leave his property to strangers. The hero 

1 Hermes says to Priamos, Iliad xxiv. 371, rf>i\(a8e <re irarpi e'rKG>. 
5 Odyss. iii. 22. 3 Iliad xxiii. 788. 

4 Hesiod, Works and Days, 329 ; Iliad xv. 204 and xxiii. 788 ; 
Odyss., xiii. 141 ; Antholog. Gr. Epig., book i, c. 16 ; Phocylid. 207 ; 
Xen. Mem., n, c. iii. 16; Cic. De Offic. I, 34; Ovid. Fast. v. 57; Juv. 
Sat. xiii. 54. Leviticus xix. 32, "Thou shalt rise up before the hoary 
head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God ; I am the 

5 Cf. Leist, Griicoital. Rechtsgesch., p. 13, 4. 

6 ei yovf'as ev Troifl. Cf. Meier and Schomann, Der Attische Process, 
203 (in Lipsius' edition). 

7 The terms were TrarpaXoias and /z^rpaXoia?. Cf. Meier and Schomann, 
Ibid. 483. At Rome parricides were scourged, and then sewed up in a 
leathern sack with a live dog, a cock, a viper, and an ape, and so cast into 
the sea. Cf. Cicero, Rose. Am., 25, 70 ; Q. Fr., 1,2,2,$$; Suet. Aug. 33 ; 
Juv. Sat., 8, 214. 8 Theog. 605. 


Achilles in the Lower World is disturbed by the thought 
that his aged father, Peleus, who is left behind in the land 
of the living, may be exposed to the affronts of neighbours. 
Penelope, encompassed as she is by perils, trembles for the 
safety of her son, on whose stout arm she hopes to lean in 
her old age. 1 In the tragedians the terms yrjpoftoa-tcos and 
yrjpoftoaiceiv (to " nourish in old age ") are of frequent occur- 
rence. 2 Parents lament the loss or absence of children who 
should tend them in their declining days. 3 But granted the 
possession of those who will cherish them when old age 
overtakes them, a long life is not regarded with horror ; a 
short life is now to be deplored rather than desired. Thus, 
old age, from being an object of reproach and contempt, 
challenges respect and veneration. 

The note struck by Telemachus in the Odyssey is at once J h h a e n e 
significant of the change that has come about in the treat 

ment of old age, and foreshadows the influence which the language 
aged were to attain in time to come : 

AtSws 8' av vwv avSpa ycpa/TCpO? cepcecr0at. 4 

JIpcr/3u5 is now a term of honour. In the Iliad it is 
applied to the goddess Hera, 5 in the Odyssey to a mortal. 6 
The transition from the idea of age to rank is easy, and meanin c- 
consequently Trpeo-fieveiv, from meaning to be the elder or 
eldest, comes to bear the signification of taking precedence. 7 
The suitors for the hand of Penelope, especially Eurymachos, 
display their insolence by acting rudely to the aged, and 
threatening them with personal violence. 8 The salutation 
pala, which is used in addressing aged women, though they 
be menials, 9 likewise testifies to the reverence paid to age, 

1 Odyss. xxi. 117. Cf. ii. 130, and Iliaa viii. 281. 
- Cf. Soph. Ajax. 570. Eur. Mat. 1033. ^Alc. 663. 

3 Eur. StippL 923. yrjpoftoo-Kbv OVK xa> nalda. 

4 Odyss. iii. 24. " A young man may well be shame-faced to question 
an elder." The respect for age is specially characteristic of Telemachus. 

5 v. 71 ; viii. 383. 6 iii. 45 2 - 

7 Soph. Ant. 720; Plato, Legg. 752E. Cf. the phrases antiquius 
luibere, "to deem more important," and antiquior fides, Livy vii. 31. 

8 Odyss. ii. 177. Cf. 243. 9 Ibid. ii. 349- 


The aged 
in council. 

and it is noteworthy that their age is specially mentioned as 
a ground for indulgence towards them. When the news of 
Odysseus' return is brought to the gentle Penelope, his wife, 
the mistress says that if any but her aged attendant had 
disturbed her at an untimely hour, it would have gone ill 
with her, but " this time her old age shall stand her in good 
stead." 1 Altogether, the evidence points to the fact that a 
superior dignity was accorded to the aged. 

This circumstance will explain a further fact, which is of 
primary importance in the history of social institutions. 
The aged as well in public councils as in private concerns 
carry weight from their superior knowledge and experience, 
for they are " able to look behind and before." 2 A place of 
honour is accorded to an Anchises or a Nestor. He is the 
repository of tradition. His opinion commands a hearing 
and respect in the assembly whether in peace or war. Nay, 
he is equal to the immortals. 3 

The way has now been paved for a further advance. With 
the formation of states, the old men assume an official 
position. They are the ambassadors to whom are entrusted 
the interests of the commonweal in a foreign country, 
Trpeapewral. The knowledge of customary law is supposed 
to be almost their monopoly, and consequently the adminis- 
tration of justice resides, in a large measure, in their hands. 
The king in his council (/3ov\r)) draws around him the wisest 
heads, 4 and these venerable counsellors have the chief voice 
in the determination of important issues which are brbught 
before the public assembly. 5 Here lies the nucleus of the 
councils of elders which played such a prominent part in 
later history. It is interesting to know that they flourished 
more especially among those races which were characterized 

1 Odyss. xxiii. 24. It is worthy of notice that the article is generally pre- 
fixed to words for old man, yepwv and ye/Huds-, as usually to titles of rank. 

2 Iliad 'iii. 108 ; Odyss. xxiv. 451 ; cf. Iliad xviii. 250. 

3 Iliad iii. 246, 409 ; vii. 366. Cf. for the general sentiment, xv. 204 ; 
xxiii. 788 ; Odyss. xiii. 141 ; Anthol. Gr. Epig. i. 16 ; Xenoph. Mem. ii. 
3, 16. 

4 Iliad iv. 322. * Ibid. ii. 53. 


by a simplicity of habits and a devotion to warlike pursuits. In 
the Dorian states the yepova-la occupied a prominent place ; T 
in the Roman commonwealth the senatus became the model 
for subordinate states to copy. 

When we look back to the early days of Greek and Italian 
civilization, and measure the improvement in the condition 
of the aged in Homer the contrast is striking. The picture of 
the old man there is a pleasant one. While some of his 
faculties become blunted, and his sensibilities dulled, his 
inner perception of right and his eye for good grow with 
years. He keeps in closest touch with youth, and his eye 
lights up at a tale of adventure or an heroic deed. He rejoices 
to see the assertion of truth and justice and the outburst of 
natural virtue. The greatest gift from the gods to a king is 
" a gentle death, which shall end him foredone with smooth 2 
old age, and the folk dwelling happily around him." 3 

1 According to Nicolas Damascenus, at Sparta attainment to the age 
of sixty and an unblemished character qualified for admission to the senate. 

3 Cf. Odyss. xix. 368. 

3 Odyss. xi. 135. Th lines are probably an addition from the Cyclic 
Epic called " Telegonia? but they convey a good idea of the Homeric 
conception of old age. Cf. Ovid. Metam. iii. 347 ; Diog. Laert. De Vit. 
Solon, i. 54 ; Plin. Ep. i. 12 ; Macrobius, Somn. Scip. i. 6 ; Genesis xv. 15. 

1 84 



The treat- THE position of women in society offers one of the best tests 
wornen as by which the standard of culture may be judged, for accord- 

grade of civilization attained so will be the 
treatment of the female sex. This is not a mere gallant 
common-place. For, doubtless, the best hopes for the 
advance of civilization rest upon the recognition of the just 
claims of women to respect and honour. The Moors furnish 
an instructive contrast to the rest of the Mahommedans in 
this respect. With most Mahommedans woman is the 
born slave of man. The Moors, the only Mussulman 
nation which has ever exhibited a chivalrous feeling towards 
females, have attained to a high plane of civilization 
principally through the influence of that sentiment. When 
we turn to Greece and Italy, woman's abject condition at first 
and the steady, though slow, improvement in the relations of 
the sexes, of which the history of the family furnishes proof, 
affords testimony to the evolution of Greek and Roman 
society from a pristine barbarism. 

Jt ^ as a ^ rea( ^y been indicated that among savage and 
untutored races the condition of women is degraded. This 
is true as a general principle, 1 but it admits of some excep- 
tions. Such are the cases of barbarous tribes in which 
women are regarded with superstitious reverence and take 
the lead in sacrificial functions. 3 Such also were the rare 
instances in which, as we have seen, the matriarchal 

1 Cf. A. H. Post, Die Anfdnge des Staats und Rechtslebcns, p. 32. 

" "The females seem to be the privileged priestesses of the Pepo-hoan 
religion : and the younger women are, I believe, initiated into the 
mysteries of this occult ceremony." Pickering, Pioneering in Formosa, 
p. 151. 


principle prevailed. But making all allowances for these 
evidences of progress, the fact remains that with savage 
races, as a rule, a woman is subject to the control of some 
man, if not of her husband, and in the estimation of the 
male sex she holds a place but little higher than that of the 
slave. Moreover, it must be remembered that the mind of 
the savage is hedged in by the circle of ideas which sufficed 
for his ancestors ; the opinions and the habits which he has 
inherited he will transmit to his descendants. He does not 
act according to reason but according to prescription. 
Custom and tradition surround him with endless prohibi- 
tions and privileges. The privileges apply to the males, the 
prohibitions to the females. 

The position occupied by women in Greece and Italy at a 'i[ 
one time exhibited the same features as among the unpro- 
gressive races of the present day, but it also illustrates the Italy> 
improvement of their relations with the stronger sex. This 
state of things is due to a variety of causes. The innate 
capacity that marked the Aryans as a race doubtless 
accounts for no small share of the high consideration which 
their women eventually won. The stress of life and the 
pressure of circumstances in the earlier stages of the history 
of the Greeks and Italians, and the stirring scenes through 
which they passed contributed in a high degree to calling 
forth the latent abilities of the weaker sex. But, on the 
other hand, Aryan women laboured under one disadvantage. 
The organization of labour has much influence in forming the 
character and fixing the place of women in society, and their 
participation in the responsibility for the maintenance of the 
household is fraught with the happiest consequences. It 
was this circumstance which elsewhere raised their position, 
bestowed upon them rights of property, and established the 
principle of matriarchate. The case was otherwise in the 
Aryan family ; there the sole responsibility rested upon the 
head of the household. 1 Did he admit his wife to a share 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex. y p. 917. 


iii the toil of husbandry, it was not with a view to relieving 
himself of a responsibility or to relinquishing his preroga- 
tives, but to shifting an irksome task upon her shoulders. 
Without doubt this circumstance militated against the rise 
of women to power. 

p e r riod storic That the original position occupied by Aryan women was 
mean and debased is plain from various passages in the 
literatures of India and Greece. Dr. Leist 1 seems to have 
formed an exaggerated estimate of their importance in the 
early society of the Aryans. The writer assigns to woman 
in ancient India a high place, but apparently without 
sufficient warrant. True, she assisted in certain ceremonies 
in the household and from this fact the author deduces the 
conclusion that the wife stood on a par with her lord. 
But does this prove anything more than that she was 
present at the function as a helper or servant ? The 
fact is, that evidence exists of a time when the presence 
of women at sacrifices was positively prohibited or sanc- 
tioned only under certain conditions. Such was the 
sacrifice to Mars, pro bourn valetudine (" for the health of 
the oxen ") where the law ordained : Mulier ad rem 
divinam ne adsit neve videat quomodo fit? So, too, at the 
Indian ceremony of the Pravargya: "If the ceremony of 
the Pravargya is fulfilled, the wife of the officiant veils her 
head." 3 

Thejrue The real picture of the position of women, judging from 
the general tenour of Indian, Greek, and Italian literature, 
is something very different. No less an authority than the 

India. god Indra had said, " Woman's wit is hard to know aright, 
and her intelligence is small." 4 Another dictum pronounces 

1 Altarisches Jus Gentium. 

2 Cato De Re Rustica, 83. " A woman shall not be present at the, 
divine function, nor see how it is done." 

3 Schrader, Real 'lex ., p. 216. 

4 Rigveda, 8, 33, 17; A. Kaegi, Der Rtgveda, page 114; cf. W. 
Ward, The Hindoos iii. 280, and also the saying of Odin in HaVa- 
mdl, 84. 


that " With women there is no friendship ; their hearts are 
like those of hyenas." l 

The Greek writer, Simonides Amorginus (660 B.C.), 
writing in jest or earnest, committed himself to a similarly 
low view of the character and capabilities of the sex : 3 

\<apl<; ywcuKas 0os CTTOO/O-CV voov 
TO. Trpomx. 3 

Whether the writer must be interpreted literally or not, 
there can be no doubt that his sentiments are in accord with 
the idea regarding the relations of the sexes at a much later 
day, which may be briefly adverted to here. Arrived at a 
marriageable age, a daughter's hand is bestowed by her 
father on whom he wills, regardless of her wishes. Neither 
is her condition bettered, nor is her independence increased 
by her change of home. She has been bought for a price, 
and therefore, in the strict letter of primitive law, she is the 
property of her husband. She lives in subjection to her 
husband, and entire subordination to his will. She passes 
into his hand (manus)* She does not enjoy undisputed 
possession of her husband's affections, for he may acquire by 
capture or purchase as many wives as he pleases. Her 
husband has power to sell, slay, or give her away. Her life 
counts for little in the eye of the law. Severe penalties were 
exacted for the murder of men, but little count was taken of 
the lives of women. The ideal woman is seldom or never 
seen out of doors, and within the home circle she acts as a 
domestic drudge, spinning and weaving, or plaiting mats. 
Altogether the life of the woman was the reverse of enviable. 

1 Rigveda 10, 95, 15. "A woman is a hyena," is a saying of the 
Bogos. More favourable opinions, however, are expressed in some 
Indian writings. See Kaegi, Ibid., p. 229. 

" Bergk, Poetae Lyr. Graeri, 738. 

" God made women at the beginning without intellect." The text, 
however, is uncertain. 

4 Maine has conjectured that the term manus, or hand, was at first the 
sole general term for patriarchal power among the Romans, and that it 
became confined to one form of that power. See The Early History of 
the Property of Married Women, p. 7. Cf. also the use of the Old High 
German munf, and the Old Saxon mund. 


5 maiS-** The light in which women were regarded in primitive 
2miiy g thc society is illustrated strikingly in regard to marriage. It 
has already been seen that the object of marriage was the 
rearing of children, especially sons, to perpetuate the line, to 
keep alive the family name, and to fulfil the obligations 
owing from the family to the community. Bearing in mind, 
then, the emphasis laid upon the maintenance of the family 
honour and upon the continuity of the family, it is not 
surprising to find that any infraction of the bond by the 
wife was visited with severe penalties. It was an offence 
not only against the husband and the family but also against 
SStfonoi t ^ le * ar g er soc i et y f which they were units. Marriage only 
ba e nd u a s nd accentuate( i tne inequality of the sexes and brought the 
wife - inferiority of the woman into more striking relief. In 
comparison with her husband the wife fared ill indeed. 
Her lord and master was free to form attachments at will, 
provided he did not trespass on his neighbours' domain. 
iT?e e nce Under the head of polygamy we had occasion to observe 
plowed that the husband was at liberty to add to his household not 
husband, only w ives but concubines, and the means by which they 
passed into his possession are reflected in language. That 
they were generally drawn from the slave class is attested 
by the circumstance that concubine is synonymous with 
slave. Such is the deduction which may be drawn from the 
Old Indian ddsi - (or Dasawife), meaning at once slave and 
wife. Such too is the import of the Greek words 7raXXa/a'<?, 
7ra\\aKtj and TraXXaf , connected as they are presumably with 
the Old Slovenic cloveku, "man," and clovecica, "maid." 3 
The re- The list might be easily extended. Far otherwise was the 


case with the wife. According to the original conception of 
the family the wife existed for its continuance, and any 
violation of the marriage bond on her part was rigorously 
punished. This feeling was not confined to primitive times. 
Afterwards, when custom had passed into law, the law, ever 
lenient and indulgent towards the frailties of the husband, 
bore with a heavy hand upon the offending wife. 

1 See Schrader, Reallex., p. 66. 



The law was explicit upon this point. It directed the 
injured husband to kill the offenders. So the law was 
interpreted by Cato : 

" In adulterio uxorem tuam si prehendissis, sine iudicio impune 
necares : ilia te, si adulterates sive tu adulterarere, digito non auderet 
contingere, neque ius est." * 

In like manner at Tenedos a similar severity was exercised Greece, 
towards those who were found guilty of infidelity. The law 
prescribed that offenders caught eV avroffxapw were to be 
slain with the axe. 2 At Athens milder methods obtained, 
but there, too, after such lapses from virtue, the women 
received but scant consideration compared with the men. 3 
Ultimately the asperity of the law was softened and divorce Grounds 

r^i irt- for divorc 

was substituted. The grounds for divorce were various, but 
those only call for mention to which special significance 
attaches, and they need merely be briefly enumerated here. 
Adultery was one of these. Formerly, as has already been Adultery. 
shown, the aggrieved husband might take the law into his 
own hands, and put the dishonoured wife and her paramour 
to death without fear of consequences. But now the severity 
of her punishment was mitigated, and justice was vindicated 
by the mere infliction of a public stigma or degradation or 
the forfeiture of rights. As for the guilty paramour, it is 
clear that his position was hardly distinguishable from that 
of any thief or trespasser on another's property. So much, 
indeed, appears from the circumstance that the head of a 
family would hold equally guilty and punish any illicit 
intrigue with any female relative or even any woman belong- 
ing to his household. Thus, with the lapse of time, the 
penalties attaching to such misdemeanours were modified. 

1 In Gellius x. 23. 4< If you had caught your wife in adultery, you 
would have slain her without a trial ; if you committed or submitted to 
adultery she would not dare set her finger on you, nor is it right." See 
Schrader, Reallex.^ p. 156. 

2 See Schliemann, Mycenae, p. 254. Nicolas Damascenus dwells 
frequently upon the dishonour and severe penalties which the Greeks 
attached to adultery in the various states. 

3 Schrader, Reallex., p. 161 ; Miiller, Die griech. Privataltert., p. 152. 


Nevertheless, the law still allowed the aggrieved party to 
take the life of the invader of his domestic felicity, 
tutlon'of Another transgression which was held to justify divorce 
children. was the substitution of children. Under the pretence that 
they were their own offspring Roman women not in- 
frequently palmed off adopted children upon their husbands. 1 
The temptations to practise this deception were very great 
for reasons that became clear in the foregoing pages, from 
which it appears a strong stress was laid upon the possession 
of many children as an element of human prosperity. As a 
wife's happiness and honour depended largely upon her 
motherhood, so childlessness brought with it only contempt 
and misery. From what has been said it is plain that the 
lot of women was far from answering the description which 
some writers have given of it. Nor did her hardships end 
with her husband's death. 

The posi- The desolation of widowhood in the East at this day, and 
widow. still more before European influence made itself felt, was 
nothing short of deplorable. In Hebrew literature it passed 
into a proverb. 2 Not only did she share the disabilities and 
disadvantages under which the sex generally laboured. 
Bereft of her natural protector she was exposed to all 
manner of contempt, oppression, and wrong. The position 
of the widow in India is well known. 

"The perpetual degradation and starvation," says a modern 
writer, 8 "to which those widows are reduced whom they per- 
mit to live sinks them below many of the most savage tribes." 
in Rome. This condition of things has not been without its counter- 
part in the West. We gather from Terence that the position 
of the widow in Roman society was not to be envied : 

Non, ita me Dii ament, auderet facere haec viduae mulieri Quae in me 
fecit. 4 

1 Von Ihering, p. 345 ; and Schrader, Reallex^ p. 161. 

2 Cf. Exod. xxii. 22 ; Deut. x. 18 ; xxiv. 17 ; Job xx. 19; Isaiah i. 23 ; 
Prov. xv. 25. 

3 W. Ward, The Hindoos iii. p. 280 ; cf. 167. 

4 Heaut. v. I, 81. "By heaven he would not dare to treat a widow as 
he treated me," Such is the probable meaning. 


The legal prohibition of second marriages is also signifi- 
cant. It is stated on the authority of Pausanias that in in Greece - 
Greece widows were not allowed to marry again : 

7rpoTpov Se Ka^coTTyKei Teas ywat$i> 7r* avSpl airoOavovTi 

The reason is obvious, and naturally flows from the view 
with which the wife was regarded. The wife was the 
property of her husband. On his death she did not gain 
her independence, but passed into the charge of her husband's 
family. But her position will become clearer in the sequel. 
The inequality in the relations existing between husband and 
wife finds eloquent expression in the absence from early 
language of a word for widower. 2 It only affords a fresh 
instance to show that the advantage lay on the side of the 
husband, who when robbed of one wife could console himself 
for the loss in the company of other wives, and in the event of 
his not possessing a second experienced no difficulty in 
acquiring one. 8 

The consummate egoism of the male sex is borne out by 
another custom of a much more repulsive nature, which 
appears to have been common. The Indian term suttee, India 
which, originally derived from sati, " a true, virtuous wife," "*"" 
has been incorporated into the English language, and the 
institution of the self-sacrifice of the widow on the funeral 
pyre of her husband, as a seal of her fidelity, is supported by 
the strongest testimony. It suggests several reflections of 
surpassing interest. Apparently the practice existed from an 
early time. It is declared to be a primitive custom (dharma 

1 ii. 21, 1 8. " But before that time it had been the custom for women 
to remain single after a husband's death." The same regulation was 
enforced in India also, according to Delbriick, Verwandschaftsnamen, 
p. 553, and there are proofs of its existence in Germany. Tacitus, 
Germ., 19, in quibus tantum virgines nubunt. Professor Schrader quotes 
a provision of the Lex Salica to the same effect. 

2 The words for widower, the Latin vidttus, Old Slavonic ridoinci, 
are of later origin, and were formed on the analogy of vidua, " widow." 
Cf. Delbriick, Verwandschaftsnamen, p. 442. 

3 Schrader, Reallex., p. 958, and Krauss, Sitte und Brauch der Stid- 
$ lav en, p. 527, 


purdna) 1 but it was not universal. On the contrary, we read 
in the Rigveda, an older document than the Atharvaveda, 
" Arise, O wife, to the world of the living ; the breath 
of him by whom thou sittest is fled; as for him, who 
clasped thy hand and freed thee, with him thy marriage is 
ended " ; so widows might marry again ; 3 nor are indications 
wanting in the Atharvaveda also of this permission being 
accorded to them. 3 But it is a matter of history that suttee 
has flourished in India for two thousand years down to 
comparatively recent times, and its perpetuation was due to 
a text in the Vedas which bestowed upon it a religious 
sanction. The passage in question possesses a melancholy 
interest, since the alteration of it has ere this caused untold 
misery. It occurs in the Rigveda and reads, " May these 
women, who are not widows, but have good husbands, draw 
near with oil and butter. Those who are mothers may go 
up first to the altar without tears, without sorrow, but 
decked with fine jewels." 4 Thus the change of one letter has 
occasioned the needless sacrifice of a million lives. 5 

But though the Brahmans raised the custom of suttee to a 
settled institution, they must be acquitted of the charge of 
inventing it. The truth is, the custom by no means stands 

Greece. alone. It was in use among Slavs and Germans. 6 Pausanias 
states 7 that it was not unknown in Greece. He alludes to Greek 
wives despatching themselves on their husbands' tombs. 

Legend, -p^jg ms t a nce finds its counterpart in Greek legend, as in the 
story of Capaneus, one of the seven heroes who attacked 
Thebes. During the siege (so ran the legend) he rashly 
boasted that even the fire of Zeus should not prevent his 
scaling the walls. But he paid the penalty of his pre- 

1 Atharvaveda, 18, 3, I ; cf. Zimmer, Altind. Leben, pp. 328-331. 

2 Rigveda, 10, 18, 8; 10, 18, 7. 3 Cf. Atharvaveda, 9, 5, 27. 

4 Cf. Max Muller, Chips from a German Workshop ii. 36 ; Kaegi, Der 
Rigveda, p. 106 ; Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays i. 132 (ed. Cowell). 

5 The original sentence ran : a' rohantu jdnim dgre, " The mothers 
may go first to the altar." This was altered into : a' rohantu j6nim 
agnih, " They shall enter the womb (jonint) of fire (agneh)" For 
modern instances see Ward, The Hindoos ii. 96. 

6 C. V. Mullenhof, Deutsche Altertumskunds iv. 313. 7 iv. 2, 7. 


sumption, since he was struck by lightning. While his 
body was burning his wife Evadne leapt into the flames and 
perished. 1 The devotion of Brunhild in following Sigurd 
to death is the subject of many an eulogy. " If," said his 
faithful spouse, 2 " I follow him the heavy door of the Lower 
World falls not on his heel." But these are only typical 
instances. Nanna dies with Baldr, Gunnhild with Asmund. 3 
The fact is, widow sacrifice takes the mind back to a remote 
antiquity and its origin is lost in obscurity. But the feeling 
by which it was prompted is not hard to trace. Some have 
sought the motive which dictated it in idealism. It has been 
urged and certainly the thought appeals to the imagination 
that this voluntary self-immolation was an act of heroic 
devotion which the sacerdotal classes consecrated and 
elevated to a religious duty. But however alluring, in the 
light of the general condition of women in the early stages 
of culture, this supposition may appear to be, it should 
probably be rejected. It has been ascribed also to the 
desire on the part of the new representative of the family, on 
his accession to power, to secure his position by the removal 
of his father's favourites. Such a view might derive counte- 
nance from the history of more than one Eastern Court, where 
bitterness, dissension, intrigue and murder have ever been 
the commonest sights, and almost the natural order on such 
occasions as a transference of power from father to son.* 
But neither does this explanation suffice to solve so wide- 
spread a phenomenon. Rather it took its rise from the deep- 
seated ideas regarding a future life which once obtained 
widely, and still obtains equally among the Indians of the 
East and the Red Indians of the far West. To the savage 

1 Eurip., Suppl. 980 ; Apollodor. iii. 7, 7 ; Ovid, Tristia v. 14, 38 ; 
Ars. Am. iii. 21 ; Hygin. Fab. 243. 

2 Vbls. Saga, c. 31 ; cf. Grimm, Geschichte der d. Spr., p. 98. 

3 For cases of such self-immolation among Slavs see Kotljarevshij, 
PpgrebaKnychu obycayachu jazyceskichu Slavjanu, Moskva, 1868 ; Karam- 
sin, Gesch. des Russ. Reichs., Riga, 1820, i. 50. Instances among the 
Scandinavians are given by Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt., p. 451. 

4 Cf. Caesar, De Bell. Gall. vi. 19, 3. 


mind, alike in the ancient and in the modern world, the life 
beyond the grave was merely a continuance of the life on 
this side of it, attended by all the comforts with which the 
deceased had been familiarized on earth. We cannot credit 
the early Greek or Italian in dooming his wife to death with 
any other high motive than that which actuates the modern 
Redskin who directs that his dog shall be buried at his side, 
to be the companion of the chase in the Happy Hunting- 

The So far the life of women in the earliest stages of the Greek 

and Italic races differed but slightly from their situation among 
modern races who have hardly yet risen above the savage 

The eieva- state. But a brighter day was in store. No doubt various 

tion of J 

h^da^d causes contributed to the amelioration of the position of 
its causes. W omen. The spirit of the warrior's wife was evoked, and 
her character formed by a long course of migration, and by 
a later series of wars which preceded the settlement of the 
several Aryan races in the South. The gradual increase in 
the means of support rendered existence easier generally, and 
was accompanied by a relaxation of the strain of life and by 
the spread of humaner ideas. This improvement in outward 
circumstances could not fail to react upon the condition of 
women, and enable them to emerge eventually from their 
degradation. Such a reformation can be clearly traced in 
Greece and Italy. 

Rome. The earlier history of Rome reveals this state of transition. 

The status of woman is defined by Roman law. She is 
Death subject to the power (manus) of her husband. Until the Lex 
Sal the Julia de adulteriis was passed to set limits to the arbitrary 
power vested in the man, the aggrieved husband could adopt 
summary measures ; he was even permitted to slay upon the 
spot the culprit taken in adultery. One signal instance has 
been placed on record. It was the case of Egnatius Mecenius 1 
who put his wife to death on the charge of having drunk 

1 Serv. ad &n. i. 737 ; Plin. 14, 13. But see Rossbach, Die rbmiscfo 
Ehe, p. 20, who doubts the story. 


wine. 1 But though such cases are rarely recorded, we are 
warranted in concluding from the necessity of such an enact- 
ment as the Lex Julia, that the power given to the injured 
husband must have been frequently and flagrantly abused. 

No less significant is the prohibition of the sale of wives, a 
practice of which we occasionally get glimpses in Roman 
history. Plutarch, 2 for example, alludes to it when he says 
that the duty of sacrificing to the Infernal God was enjoined 
upon any one who sold a wife. But stringent measures had 
to be passed to check the perpetration of such acts. 

Ultimately, in spite of the technicalities of Roman laws 
dealing with the treatment of women, the sex were at last 
successful, not only in freeing themselves from disabilities, but 
also in acquiring by degrees an influence both in their house- 
holds and on social life. Yet it was still a far cry to the age 
of the Veturias and Cornelias, who afterwards played no 
small part in training statesmen and soldiers to shed lustre 
upon the Roman name. The ideal of womanhood finds The ideal 


elegant expression in an epitaph of a comparatively late matron, 
period, which furnishes a portrait of an exemplary Roman 
matron : 

Hospes, quod deico, paullum est. Asia ac pellege. 
Heic est sepulchrum haud pulcrum pulcrai feminae. 
Nomen parentes nominarunt Claudiam, 
Suom mareitum corde deilexit sovo. 
Gnatos duos creavit horunc alterum 
In terra linquit, alium sub terra local ; 
Sermone lepido, turn autem, incessu commodo, 
Domum servavit, lanam fecit. Dixi. Abei. 3 

1 Cicero divorced his new wife Publilia for testifying joy at the death 
of her step-daughter Tullia. 

2 Rom. 22. 

3 Burmann, Anthol. iv. 147. "Stranger, what I say -is brief; stand by 
and read. Here is the unlovely tomb of a lovely woman. The name 
her parents gave her was Claudia. She loved her husband with her 
whole heart. She bare two sons. One of them she leaves on earth, the 
other she buried beneath the earth. She kept her home with graceful 
conversation and becoming demeanour, and worked the wool. I have 
spoken. Depart." The mention of wool-spinning, the time-honoured 
occupation of the women in an Aryan household, as a moral quality is 
both characteristic and common in Roman epitaphs, as in the following : 
Optima et pidcherrima, lanifica pia pudica frugi casta domisedu. Cf. 
Orelli, 4639, and Mommsen, Roman History ', p. 61. 


That this amelioration of the position of women at Rome 
reacted beneficially upon society at large may be seen from 
the contrast presented by the stagnant and stationary 
civilization of the Hindu races, compared with the progress 
made by the Romans and the races which were influenced by 
Roman institutions. Among the Hindus the authority of 
superstition and law has concurred to depress and degrade 
the female sex. 

Greece. As regards Greece, the evidence is of a somewhat different 
kind ; the legal aspect of the position of women in the social 
fabric does not obtrude itself to such an extent as at Rome, 
but information is not wanting here to prove the steady, if 
slow, emancipation of the sex. 

The heroic j n fa e Homeric poems the position of women is still 
undefined, but the age whose manners are there depicted 
marks an advance upon the earlier period which we have 
been considering. Women now possess a voice in domestic 
affairs. Nausicaa, the daughter of Alcinous, King of the 
Phaeacians, has come to the rescue of the shipwrecked 
Odysseus, and advises him to repair to her home and to 
supplicate her mother. The women appear on public 
occasions, chiefly at the solemn sacrifice, when, like the 
women-folk in India, the ladies of Nestor's household invoke 
the god in sacrificial chant. 

at 8* 6\6\vai> 

vyarepe? rt VVOL T Kal alSocrj irapaKoms 
Nccrropos, EvpuSt/07 Trpeo-ySa KAv/xei/oto 

On the other hand, a retired life was considered befitting 
to the women. Accordingly, when Penelope appears among 
her wooers, to chide the bard for awaking her " comfortless 
sorrow " by his song, her son replies : 

'AAA eis OLKOV lovara TO. cr* avrj/s tpya >co/xte, 
IOTOI/ T' rfXaKOLT^v rt t /cat afj.<f>nr6\oi<TL 

1 Odyss. iii. 450. " And the women raised their cry, the daughters and 
the sons' wives and the wife revered of Nestor, Eurydice, eldest of the 
daughters of Clymenus." (BUTCHER AND LANG, transl.) 



"Efyyov fTTOL^nrOciL' pvOos 8' avSpet 

Traai, ^taAiora 8* e^tot* rov yap fcparo? TT' ew ot/ccp. 1 

The noblest matron was one who offered herself least to 
the public gaze. Her place was in the women's apartments, 
or yvroMMwrrw. Her pride should lie in the gifts bestowed 
by the goddess Athene. To men it belonged to give counsel 
and superintend public affairs. 

Undoubtedly the humble position occupied by woman, 
and her subjection to the will of the opposite sex must be 
attributed in a large measure to the primitive conception of 
the marriage relation. Acquired by capture or purchase, 
her position could not be other than debased, and her hold 
on her husband's attachment is likely to have been pre- 
carious. The theories of succession to the family name and 
family property must have contributed to her submission. 
Passing, as the name and property clearly did pass among 
Aryan races, through the father and not the mother, these 
ideas threw power into the hands of the male members of 
the family, to the prejudice of the mother's position. But 
as society in the course of time, to adopt Emerson's phrase, 
" accepted the hint of each new experience," the wife won 
her way to recognition, and assumed higher responsibilities. 
The inherent capacity which the Aryan women shared with 
men, 2 the improvement in material well-being, the admission 
by the husband of the wife's connections among his own 
kinsmen, the influence of social and political movements, 
all these circumstances contributed a share towards modi- 
fying the relations between the sexes, and elevating women 

1 i. 356. " Howbeit go to thy chamber and mind thine own house- 
wiferies, the loom and distaff, and bid thy handmaids ply their task. But 
speech shall be for men, for all, but for me in chief ; for mine is the lord- 
ship in the house." The lines were rejected by Aristarchus, and the form 
of address does seem harsh here, but compare Odyss. xxi. 350. 

2 Haxthausen, Transkaukasia, p. 223, speaking of the Armenians an 
Aryan race remarks that "the social position which woman occupies . . . 
opens a prospect for the attainment of a higher grade of civilization, 
especially as the Armenians are peculiarly endowed with intellectual 
advantages, which constitute them a connecting link between Europe and 


generally in the estimation of men. Still, however, these 
results were achieved only by a slow process, and down to 
historic times the pattern woman confined herself to the 
duties of the household. The Athenian statesman Pericles, 
in pronouncing an oration over those who had lost their 
lives in war at a time when Athens was at the zenith of her 
culture and prosperity, had only this cold comfort to 
administer to the forlorn women : 

Thucy- E 3 ' ^ g Ka i yvwuKCtias T t apct^s ocrai vvv iv XW^ *< TOVTaL > 

fA,vijar6f]V<u, /Spa^ia Trapao/ecm airav ary/xavw. TT}S TC yap virapxov<rrj<s 

p,r] )(ipo(n, yeviarBai vfuv fieyaXr) vj 86a, Kal rjs av CTT* 
^s Trept rj \jsoyov iv rots ap<r<ri 

1 Thuc. ii. 45. " If I am to speak of womanly virtues to those of you 
who will henceforth be widows, let me sum up in one short admonition, 
To a woman not to give way to weakness that is natural to her sex, and 
not to be talked about for good or for evil among men is a great glory." 
The turning-point in the social history of women really was the introduction 
of Christianity. Under the Hebrew dispensation " a man should not 
salute a woman in a public place, not even his own wife." In like manner 
at the Hebrew services women worshipped apart from the men, but on 
the first page of the first history of the Christian Church their presence 
at public worship is specially mentioned. Acts i. 14. 




HITHERTO we have dwelt upon those features in the family 
which are repugnant to modern canons of morality, such as 
the crudeness of the marital relations, the bluntness of 
feeling, and the insensibility to the sacredness of human life 
which they exhibited. We now turn over a page and 
proceed to consider the main elements in the constitution of 
the family, which, though as yet only rudimentary, forms 
the nucleus of other organizations of momentous import. 
For just as the acorn has within it the oak of the future, so 
in like manner the Aryan family contains potentially and 
implicitly institutions of a much wider range, the tribe, the 
king, the machinery of government, and ultimately the 
modern state. This chapter will be devoted to focussing at 
one point the salient features and the central figures of the 
early family. 

Throughout the life and history of India, Greece and J e h a e rth> 
Italy, evidence of various kinds, etymological, mythological, 
and historical, is forthcoming, which points to the impor- 
tance attached in ancient society to the domestic hearth. 
To draw out in detail the correspondence between the three 
countries in this particular would carry us far beyond the 
limits of this inquiry, but a few points may be selected by 
way of illustration. 

The Greek and Italian vocabularies contain many terms The hearth 
connected with the hearth, which, taken with the rest of the language, 
evidence which is adducible, conclusively prove the common 
origin of the main ideas entertained concerning it. The 

The hearth connection between the Greek 'Ecrrla and Vesta, both 


fied. meaning the goddess of the eternal flame, and guardian of 
hearth and home, may be regarded as established. 1 

Antecedently it would be natural to suppose that the 
transition from the meaning of hearth to that of altar would 
be short, and this surmise is borne out by the evidence of 
language. The primitive hearth doubtless was of the 
simplest character, consisting of a mere hollow dug in the 
ground. About the hearth, in the centre of the dwelling, 
lay the chief room, around which, in course of time, it 
became the fashion to erect other apartments. 2 

But besides being the sacrificial centre the hearth 

possesses a social significance also. The erection of a hearth 
is symbolical of the establishment of a household and is 
synonymous with it. 3 To kindle a new fire was the first 
step taken after marriage,, in order to mark the establish- 
ment of a family. 4 At the hearth the head of the household 
exercised authority. At the hearth asylum was afforded to 
fugitives. At the hearth oaths were taken of so solemn a 
character that any violation of them called down the 
vengeance of the gods. 5 So it comes about that the hearth 
is the symbol of the unity of the family, of family property 

1 Their antiquity is shown in mythology by the myth which makes 
Hestia, the daughter of the primeval deities Cronos and Rhea, and in 
language, by the epithet " hoary," viz. venerable, ancient iro\ibs 'Eo-ria 
and Cana Vesta. Hestia takes precedence of Zeus in the most solemn 
oaths. Cauer, Delect. Inscr. Grac., 121, quotes an oath in which the 
person swears by 'EaTiav rav lv TrpvravfiG). 

2 The formation of some words for altar reveals the progress from one 
meaning to the other* Such is the Greek e'cmo, which, from being the 
fireplace, becomes the altar at which sacrifices were offered on behalf of 
the family or the state, as we have already seen. The name is constantly 
applied by the tragedians to the Delphic shrine which was regarded as 
the centre of Greece as the hearth was the centre of the family. Cf. 
Eurip., Ion 462 ; but it is used also of the domestic hearth, e.g. 
Soph., O.C. 1495. The word eV^apa exhibits a precisely similar develop- 
ment. Such also are the Latin ara (Umbrian asa) and kindred words ; 
in Sanskrit asa-; and in Old High German, arin^erin. See R. Meringer, 
Das indog. Herd, in Mitt. Wiener anthrop. Gcsell. xxi. 150, and Heyne f 
Das deutsche Wohnungswesen. 

3 Cf. Herod, v. 40. 4 Ibid. \. 176. 5 Odyss. xiv. 159. 


and inheritance, the centre of family worship, and the 
repository of family memories. 

The hearth, then, was the pivot around which the family 
life of the Aryan revolved. If we penetrate deeper and try to jJe2{h due 
find the source of its importance and influence, it appears that to 
they were owing in a large measure to two conspiring causes. 

First, the hearth was the place where the eternal flame was the sacred 
kept burning. 1 It is well known that in the early customs, 
myths, and languages of the Aryans, various considerations 
concurred to lend importance to fire. The discovery of this 
element marked an era in human history, and formed an 
important link in the development of mankind. According 
to the Greek legend it was stolen from heaven and given to 
mortal men. 2 The importance attached to fire gradually 
gave rise to a personification of the element, and it was only 
a step further to elevate it into the position of a god. The 
growth of the legend of Agni in Indian mythology affords an 
instance of this theogonic process. For, as might be shown 
by documentary evidence, in him the fire, embodying the 
concepts of warmth, light and life, was raised in course of 
time to the position of a divine and supreme being, the 
maker and ruler of the world. 3 

From what has been said it will be seen that the necessity 
of keeping the fire alight formed the central idea in the 
thoughts of a Greek or Italian household. The maintenance fire - 
of the fire was in some mysterious manner connected with the 
fortunes of the family; this care was therefore imposed 
as a solemn and sacred duty upon the shoulders of the 
representative of the family for the time being. 4 But The hearth 
religious associations of another character clustered around place* 

1 Similarlyamong the Northmen. to*sKrt.,Story of Burnt Njal. xxxviii. 

- Cf. Ch. vii., p. 77. a Cf. A. Kaegi, Der Rigveda, pp. 50-53. 

4 To take an illustration from a Western race ; in Wales, as in India, 
the hearth occupied an important place. With the ancient Welsh the 
nt'luyd) or hearth, was the centre of the home, and the witness to the 
rights of kindred. The head firestone, fixed against the central pillar 
of the primitive Welsh dwelling or hut, was a memorial of land and 
homestead (fir a thyle), and its importance as such is attested by one of 


the hearth. It was the resting-place of departed ancestors. 
To the Greek and Italian mind life was not a mere personal 
adventure or enterprise, but a link in a long line of tradition 
received and handed down, a debt paid, a duty fulfilled. 
This conviction dictated the prayers which they addressed 
and the sacrifices which they offered to their ancestral 
spirits ; and flames were popularly supposed to be the means 
of communication between the dead and the living. This 
is apparent from the prayer in the Rigveda, which was 
recited at the fireplace, and ran as follows : " Thou, O 
Agni Jatavedas, implored, hast carried the offerings which 
thou hast rendered sweet; thou hast given them to the 
Fathers ; they fed on their share. Eat, O god, the proffered 

Nor are such ideas confined to ancient Greece and Italy. 
The truth is, that almost every religion which recognizes burnt 
offerings is at the same time distinguished in varying degrees 
by a reverence for the sacrificial fire itself. In such creeds 
the fire burning on the altars of temples or on the hearth of 
a house are the principal manifestations of religious worship 
and religious faith. However that may be as regards other 
countries, in Greece and Italy and the same remark is true 
of India the fireplace was the centre of the house. The 
hearth was an altar also. At this place the head of the 
household officiated, surrounded by his wife, children, and 
slaves, and the members of the household communed with 
the house spirit which hovered around them, 

What has been said in the preceding pages will serve to 
show that weighty responsibilities resided in the hands of the 

the Welsh triads. Among the three testimonies concerning land we find 
the " firebackstone of the plaintiff's father, or of his grandfather or 
great grandfather, or other of his kindred" (Leges Wallicae). Many 
superstitions gathered around the hearth in the mind of the Celt. It was 
the sanctity of the hearth and home which made the Celt cling to them 
with such tenacity. But these pagan beliefs were obscured, if not 
altogether obliterated, by ecclesiastical influences. See a paper by the 
author on some parallels between Celtic and Indian institutions in 
Archaeologia Cambrensis^ April, 1901. p. 115 ; and F. Seebohm, The 
Tribal System in Wales. 


father of the family. They rested upon a threefold basis. 
He was the guardian of the hearth, and the maintainer of 
ancestral worship. His chief desire was to perpetuate his 
family. He had an eye also to his own peace of mind here- 
after when he should have passed among the ancestors, for 
his happiness would then be in a great degree dependent 
upon the attentions of the living. 

Thus far we have confined ourselves to the religious aspect 

r fotestas 

of the paternal power. We pass on to its more secular side. jjj cal 
The family was a natural association of kindred by blood, but 
in form it rather resembled a monarchy, in which the head of 
the household is master. Master he was in a very real sense, 
as the following terms will show. The word familia itself, Jfai " Uia - 
which has been incorporated into almost every European 
language, and in its derivative forms now summons up the 
tenderest associations, in its original form suggested servitude. 
Under it were included in the eye of the law alike wife, 
children, and servants. They could hold neither property, 
liberty, nor life except by the goodwill of the head of the 
family ; they enjoyed no rights, no responsibilities, and owed 
no duty save obedience. But in the earlier stages of 
civilization, when the power of the supreme authority was 
undisputed, and was often exercised without scruple or 
remorse, it was a question rather of prescription than of law, 
for as yet law had not taken shape, and custom was still the 
guiding principle. 1 

1 The derivation of the term familia affords striking confirmation of 
the subordination of the rest of the family in the earliest times to the will 
of the father. It comes from the Latin famulus, "a slave," which is 
identical in form with the Oscan famel, and this also bore the meaning 
of " slave." This, however, does not appear to have been the earliest 
meaning. When we analyze the word, the root seems to have indicated 
the occupants of a house, which the Oscan verbfaamat, "he dwells,'' and 
the Sanskrit dhaman closely resemble in the extension of their meaning. 
The word meant "dwelling-place," "home," especially the seat of the 
sacred fire, and finally of the dependents of the household : Schrader, 
Reallex.^ p. 222. This latter meaning was preserved in the Latin pater 
f amilias, which always retained the archaic termination of the genitive 
case. But the word has passed through other stages signifying 
successively the servile property or the master's thralls ; afterwards it 


the t he!dof The absolute power of the head of the household is 
ho?d h a" se ~ conveyed by the terms which are applied to him. The 

ruler. word SeerTTOT??? affords an illustration in point. Upon 
analysis it yields the following results. It is one of the 
oldest terms used to express the meaning of supremacy in 
the family circle, and possesses roots in common with words 
in other languages. Thus it corresponds closely, both in 
form and meaning, to the Sanskrit dampati, lord or master 
of the house, and may be resolved into the following 
elements : 8e<r-[Se(^)cr-], Sanskrit dam, Greek 6/^09, Latin 
domus, all of which are used for " house " and afterwards for 
" family." -77-07779 : with this part of the word may be com- 
pared the Sanskrit pdti, " ruler," " master," " husband " ; the 
Greek Trocm, " husband " ; and the Latin compos, "master of," 
"sharing in," "guilty of," 1 zn.&pot-i-ri "to take possession 
of," " acquire." Dominus, " master," " lord," is another 
name by which the head of the household was known, and 
it perhaps contains the same root as its correlatives, the 
Greek Sdpap, " wife," and o>a>9, a " servant." Dominus then 
would be the active form, Sdpap and fyto>9 the passive. The 
form of family government which prevailed among the rude 
and uncultivated Cyclopes, therefore, may in the light of the 
foregoing facts be regarded as typical of the primitive 
condition of the Greek and doubtless was at one time 
universal : 



included other kinds of domestic property, and finally in the Romance 
languages, English and German it came to be applied to all the persons 
who could prove themselves to be descended from the same ancestor. 
Theoretically, therefore, the authority of the head of the family over all 
its members was unlimited, although tke children were distinguished 
from the slaves by the title of liberi, " freeborn." 

1 The root is the same as in the Sanskrit pa, "protect." Cf. the 
Greek i/eVoSes, " brood " ; Latin nepotes, " grandsons " ; and Sanskrit 
napat, " descendant," " son," so called in each of the above languages in 
opposition to the head of the family. A similar idea underlies the 
Greek Kao-iyvrjTos and KOO-IS-, " brother," with which may be equated the 
Old Bactrian kati, " lord of the house." Kacriyvrjros therefore would mean 
"of the same lord." 

The relation of the head of the house to his children is Relations 

of father 

expressed, for instance, by Greek iraTijp (ira-Trip), Latin J{JJ} dren 

pater, Sanskrit pitdr, "father." The idea in these words is 

probably that of " nourisher," 1 "guardian," "protector" 

(root P&)? but it may have been merely an expression of 

endearment. The father's right of property in his children 

is by no means confined to Greece and Italy. It is common 

to all early communities before laws were framed. Even in The father 

J as a pro- 

later times, when custom was superseded by codes of law, the Homer" 
principle abrogated in theory often survived in practice. 

The duty of protecting his wife and children is nowhere 
more forcibly inculcated by precept or example than in the 
pages of Homer. Of the Trojans it is said, that though 
fewer in number they burned for the fray in defence of wife 
and child : 

fjifjiacrav 8c KOU to? VCT/UPI /Aa^<r^ai, 
\petoi dray/caiiy, trpo re iraiBtw KOI npb yuvaiKwv. 8 

The following passage affords an insight into the paternal 
care of the Trojans. Dolon the spy is describing the results 
of his expedition : 


Ev8ov<ri* TpcocriJ' yap e^TirpaTr coven <vA,a<ro > eu'* 
Ov yap (Ttfrw iratSes <TXC$OV fiarai ovSe ywcuKts.* 

But the exercise of authority and assurance of protection J f h t e h ead 
were not the only duties appertaining to the head of the jjj u " s t ld 
household. To the power of a ruler he joined the functions a judge. 
of a priest and judge. In his sacerdotal capacity he 
performed the simple rites of his faith, offered sacrifice at 
the family hearth to the fire spirit, at the family sepulchre to 
good spirits (manes), and at the boundary to the boundary 

1 Odyss. ix. 1 14. Cf. Aristotle, Eth. NIC. x., 10, 13 ; Pol. i., 2, 7. 

2 Cf. TTf-irapaii "possess," there being a close connection between 
possession and mastery. Cf. the proverbial use of the word in Theo- 
critus xv. 90, 7raa-dp.vo5 eirirafftrc. Vid. Curtius, Griech. Etym. 

a Iliad viii. 56, viz. from " moral compulsion." 

4 Ibid. x. 420. Their " allies are sleeping, for they entrust to the 
Trojans the duty of watching, since they have not their wives and children 
lying near them." Cf. viii. 186, ix. 590 ; xvi. 833 ; Odyss. xiv. 163. 


spirits. These acts owed their efficacy to his own position as 
^Vrf/st / ^ e depository of the family life. The priestly functions of the 
chief of the household disappeared or declined in importance, 
as time went on, and this disappearance or declension of his 
power was doubtless due to the growth and encroachments 
of a priesthood. 

Besides fulfilling the duties of a ruler and a priest, he 

dispensed justice to slave, wife and child. Like the Cyclopes 

in the passage already quoted, each one uttered the law to 

his children and his wives. 1 Against his word there was 

no appeal ; indeed, in theory the power over flocks and 

herds was not more absolute than over sons, slaves and 

wives. The husband was king in his own household. 2 

p"t>n c of But a brighter era was beginning to dawn on the members 

members ^ * ne family? in the proper sense of the term, a change by 

household which the position of the slave was not unaffected. This 

movement lay in the direction of emancipating the members 

of the household from the absolute control of their head. 

tiitkm"" Formerly, as has been seen, they were held in strict sub- 

pltemai ordination, if not stern subjection. Now the barriers were 

powers, broken down. This change of attitude manifested itself in 

various ways. Hitherto the paternal power over the whole 

of the persons and possessions of the family had been 

identical in character. Thenceforward different kinds or 

degrees of power were recognized : material possessions were 

subject to the dominium, " right of ownership," the children 

to his potestas, " power," " authority," and the wife to his 

manus, " hand," " legal power." 3 

Our next step will be to take the several members of the 

means " administers the Btnicrrts " or "laws and ordinances." 

2 Cf. Plato, Legg. 680, E. (oi TraAm) irarpovopovftevot KOI (3(uri\fiav 
TraaSiv SiKatorar^i/ /SatrtXevo/zej/ot. Among the heathen Northmen who 
settled in Iceland the father of the family wielded a similar power. Cf. 
Dasent, The Story of Burnt NjaL xiii. 

3 To these three terms may be added a fourth, manciphtm, which was 
applied to free persons who were in the service of the family. Mancipiiim 

(1) "the act of seizing with the hand in the presence of five witnesses, 

(2) " the thing bought," especially a " slave," 


family one by one and trace some of the stages by which 
these liberating principles were carried to their legiti- 
mate issues, and the final emancipation of women was 
achieved. The liberation of women has proceeded more The wife. 
slowly than that of the other members of the family group. 
It is still merely in progress in enlightened Europe, and has 
only gradually worked its way to recognition in all progres- 
sive societies. But the beginning of the movement can be 
faintly traced at the dawn of history. The subject of the Her 
unimportance of women in early civilization has already been position. 
discussed ; but the native ability of the Aryan women 
eventually earned them a higher place in the estimation of 
society. No longer the toy or tool of her lord and master, 
the wife gained esteem, respect, and authority. No longer * e t fl h e e cted 
known as yvvtj, or femina, names which suggested the Jjjjf for 
functions of child-bearing and nursing, or as bdpap, which 
recalled her subjugation, 1 or as mulier, which indicated the 
characteristics of the softer sex, 2 she is now dignified with 
a higher title. Sometimes she is designated 
"mistress," "lady"; this is the correlative of 
"lord," " master." 4 The way in which she attained to this 
prerogative was probably this. Polygamy was lawful, if not 
universal, and was practised mainly by princes and others 
who could afford the luxury. Of the wives one was marked 
out by special favour, and she assumed the management of 

1 That is, if dapap is connected with Sa/xn'o), " subdue," in which case it 
is parallel to irapOfvos afyiqr, " unmarried maiden." Odyss. vi. 109. But 
more likely it is to be referred to the roots of So/ios and aprva (Latin 
art-em); hence " house arranger," or " manager,'' " housewife." 

Probably connected with ;//#//&, "soft," "effeminate," and Greek 
/iaXaKos, " soft," and fj.>\vs, " feeble." 

3 The Sanskrit /oArf, (i) "lady," (2) "wife," and the Greek nfrvia, 
feminines corresponding respectively to pati and noons. 

4 The combination pater ct mater marks an advance. Parents, like 
the Greek of racovrfSj indicates the "begetters" ; pater et mater emphasizes 
the moral relations between husband and wife. Cf. Tacitus, Annals i. 14, 
(j/ii parentem alii matrem patriae (Augustam) appellandam censebant. 
Dio Cass. 57, 12, in relating the incident, gives wripa. and yovca. 
See Vanifek on pario. The following passages in Homer show the 
estimation in which wives were held, Oayss. iv. 264 ; xi. 441 ; xviii. 254, 
266 ; xxiii. 1 66 ; Iliad 'ii. 292. 


domestic affairs, commanded respect, and became virtually 
the mistress of the house. Sometimes she is described as 
a'Xo^o9, or sharer of her husband's bed. 1 She is present at 
religious ceremonies, and participates in them. She is the 
trusted guardian of her husband's home. 3 Unlike the 
barbarian, the Greek husband now treats his wife with 
respect, and he prides himself on the position of his helpmeet 
in social life, in which she is esteemed by himself, honoured 
by the children, and obeyed by the slave : 

/xrySe ftapfldpov (WTOS 

The No doubt the position achieved by women was directly 

mono? ' due to the native ability and the higher qualities of the sex 
among Aryan races, which distinguished them as much from 
the women of the races of the East as from the women 
among prehistoric populations, whom the Aryans found in 
possession of the countries which they afterwards inhabited. 
But other circumstances conspired with these inherent 
virtues to produce this result. The climatic conditions of 
the North of Europe, rendering life harder, the difficulty of 
extorting from nature the means of subsistence, the recogni- 
tion by the husband of the wife's connections as his kinsmen, 
the religious ceremonies which gradually grew up around the 
institution of marriage, and various social considerations 
all these paved the way for the final triumph of monogamy. 
The son. Next to the head of the household interest centres chiefly 
in the son, upon whom devolved all the prerogatives which 
were previously enjoyed and the responsibilities which were 
previously borne by the father. Throughout all these 
arrangements, and indeed through the whole of the relations 
existing between father and son runs the idea which we have 

1 With the addition p-vrjarrj and Kovpidir], Iliad vi. 246 ; Odyss. i. 36. 

2 The Agamemnon of ^schylus is instructive in this connection. The 
wife is 8o)/idro)j/ p.>v (f>v\a, 914, and Tricm;, 606. 

3 ^Esch., Ag. 918. "Salute me not, as if I were some Eastern king, 
with cries and prostrations." Cf. Leist, Altarisches Jiis gentium, p. 88. 


already mentioned, that is, the perpetuation of the family. 
This thought cannot be emphasized too strongly. It was 
uppermost in the mind of the father, and it governed the sideration 
mutual attitude of father and son. But special considera- 
tions co-operated with this principle. Not only were the 
sons indebted to their father for their very existence, but 
they had also to thank him for its continuance. The con- 
nection between children and parents rested primarily, 
doubtless, upon a physical basis, but it was transmuted into 
a moral relation by the conspiring influence of mutual love, 
regard, gratitude, and divine sanction. And this thought 
furnishes an adequate explanation of a curious custom 
mentioned by Plutarch. 1 From the passage it would appear 
that in ancient times fathers never went out to supper with- 
out being accompanied by their children, however tender 
their age. The reason was that the life of the son was 
indissolubly united to that of his father, and his father's 
presence afforded him protection. 2 

But parents have a personal interest in their children. 
They begin a new life in them. If, then, the son is beholden 
to his father for his life, the father on his part lives again in 
his son. 3 His only hope of preserving the family line lies 
therefore in the possession of sons. When he is gone they 
will undertake the duties which were formerly fulfilled by 
him. 4 To the Homeric heroes martial valour especially 
appealed, and their dearest wish is to see their sons emulate 

1 Roman Questions^ 33. 

2 The same motive may underly the couvade. This custom, by which 
the father takes to his bed at the birth of a child, is widely found among 
savages. Apollonius, Argonaut, ii. 1009. Valerius Flaccus, Argon, v. 
148. The usage appears to have prevailed in Corsica. Diodorus v. 14 : 
7rapa8o6raTov S* f'ori irap' avrois TO yivopfvov Kara ras TU>V T(KVQ>V yevecrtis' 
oral/ yap f] yvvrj reicy, Tavrrjs ov8tp.ia yivtrai irepl TTJV Xo^f lav CTrtftcXfta, 6 
y dvrjp avTTjff avairfffutv $ vo<r>v Xo^fvfrat To/eras r/fiepar, <uy mv (rvnaror 
avrov KdKOTratiovvTof. So too in Spain, Strabo iii., 4, 17. Cf. Max Miiller, 
Chips from a German Workshop, ii. 274 j Granger, The Worship of the 
Romans, 126 : Starcke, La Famille Primitive. 

3 Uiadv. 154; Odyss. iv. 12. Cf. the plaintive reproach in Genesis xv. 3. 

4 The native pride of race is a conspicuous feature in the character of 
>Eneas, both in the Iliad and the ALneid. Cf. Iliad xx. 203. 


their deeds. When Odysseus returns after ten years 
absence, and is preparing for the slaughter of the rebellious 
Ithacans, he bids his son Telemachus remember the traditions 
and renown of his house, and do no discredit to the family 
fame; and Telemachus responds to the call. No less 
significant is the delight of Laertes at witnessing the prowess 
of his son and grandson. When Agamemnon and Athene 
wish to fire the ambition of Diomedes, they know no better 
way of effecting their purpose than to bid him be as brave as 
was his father Tydeus before him. But none of the passages 
exceed in pathos the scene in the underworld, where 
Odysseus tells Achilles of the courage and wisdom of his son, 
and the shade of the departed rejoices at the recital : 

<J>otTa fjiaKpa ^8t/3a<ra /car' aa^oScXov Aei/ouova, 
o ot vlbv tyrjv apiSeuccrov eli/ae. 1 

And to The same sentiment explains the son's assumption of 


aSShil y government over the household at his father's death. In 
death. fa[ s capacity he takes charge of the members of the family. 
Telemachus wields authority in the house of Odysseus. He 
has the right to bestow his mother's hand in marriage and 
to give the bridal presents. 2 He is recognized as the head 
of the household and its members yield him willing 
obedience. 3 Such was the usual practice; authority was 
s e ition of transm i tte d through the hands of sons. But the son might, 
lorn rllts ^ occasion called, proceed a step further and seize his power 
hsio- ky force. We are speaking, be it remembered, of an age 
when might was right, when bodily strength and vigorous 
health formed the chief recommendations, nay, were 

1 Odyss. xi. 505-538. " So I spake, and the spirit of the son of yEacus, 
fleet of foot, strode with long steps along the meadow of asphodel, glad 
at heart that I had told him of his son's renown." Cf. Vergil, dneid\\. 
549, where Neoptolemus in irony bids the adversary, whom he is about 
to slay, tell his father in the other world of his degeneracy, " Degene- 
remque Neoptolemum narrare memento." 

2 Odyss. xix. 529 ; xx. 342 ; Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 328. 

3 The word senior as a title of the first-born, which has in various forms 
come down to us in the Romance languages, signore, seigneur^ sir, and 
others, testifies to the privilege of birthright. 


absolutely necessary to a ruler. Accordingly the deposition JJ' 
of parents was sanctioned by law. 

Nor was there a lack of celestial precedents for the 
practice of setting aside the parent in favour of the son. 
The tumultuous times which, according to Greek mythology, 
ushered in the creation of the world, witnessed many such 
scenes. Ouranos, one of the primeval gods, experienced this 
fate. He hated his children, and as soon as they were 
born hurled them into Tartarus or the Nether Regions. 
Afterwards, at the instigation of his mother Gaia (Earth) 
Cronos, one of the victims of this unnatural conduct, deposed 
his father and himself ascended the throne of heaven. The 
usurper, however, did not enjoy it long. He in his turn 
succumbed to the rising power of Zeus, who obtained the 
dominion of the world. 

The same feeling appears in the sublunary sphere described 
by Homer. Laertes, worn out with care and labour, resigns Homer, 
the reins to his son Odysseus, who is better able to wield 
the government of his island kingdom. 1 The old man 
retires to spend his declining days in his upland farm. 3 The 
probability is, therefore, that such a forcible seizure was not 
the normal custom ; as a rule, the duties devolved in due 
course upon the son. 

To sum up the responsibilities resting upon the shoulders The son 
of the son, his paramount duty related to the house biiitiei. 
worship. 3 We learn on the authority of Plautus that 

1 The epithets applied to the suitors who are unruly and insolent 
bespeak the difficulties of the task, which Telemachus realized to his 

2 We see here the genesis of the " parents' dower " on landed property. 

3 The necessity of keeping the fire on the hearth alight and maintaining 
the hearth inviolate was felt so strongly that when the liberties of Greece 
were threatened by the Persian army under Xerxes, Leonidas led to 
guard the Pass of Thermopylae a contingent of three hundred " who had 
children," that is, representatives who would take care that the obligations 
were fulfilled and the religious duties duly discharged. Herodot. vii. 206. 
Cf. Iliad, xv. 497. At Rome the pontifical and civil law required the 
performance of the household sacrifice : Sacra privata perpetua 


the maintenance of the family altar was an expensive 
matter : 

Cena hac annonast sine sacris hereditas. 1 

And again he speaks of an estate exempt from such an 
encumbrance : 

Sine sacris hereditatem sum aptus ecfertissqmam. 2 
Ancestral Moreover, closely connected with the guardianship of the 

worship. '* . . 

family fire was the perpetuation of the worship of ancestors 
who watched over the fortunes of the household. As their 
forefathers were buried in the haunts of the living, their 
spirits were always present, and everything that could not be 
ascribed to obvious causes was supposed to be due to their 
agency. If anything miscarried it was because the rights of 
the dead had not been respected, and then adieu to all hope 
of happiness and prosperity. To forfeit their goodwill was 
to imperil the very existence of the family. Their favour 
was in consequence as earnestly desired as their wrath was 

worshi of ^he re P resen tative of the family has duties to fulfil 
the gods, towards the gods also, for they take an interest in human 
affairs and require a return at the hands of men. Accord- 
ingly men, on their part, endeavour to fulfil the unwritten 
eternal laws which are the sources of all morality, and by 
duly discharging religious observances to establish a claim 
to divine favour. Such a belief runs through the life and 
conduct of Odysseus. Of these ceremonies sacrifice forms 
an important factor. The head of the family takes care to 
assemble his sons around him, and they often assist in the 
household rites. Thus the children are from an early age 
imbued with pious sentiments and are trained to fulfil those 
responsibilities which will in time devolve upon themselves. 

1 Trinummus ii. 483, " with provisions at the present prices, a feast 
is a fortune without encumbrances." 

2 Captivi iv. r, 8. "I have lighted upon a most ample inheritance 
without encumbrances." The old Welsh custom known as dadenhurdd, 
or uncovering of the family hearth, the picturesque and symbolic action 
by which the eldest son asserted his claim to hereditary property (H. Lewis, 
Ancient Laws of Wales^ p. 547), is of a similar nature. 


We have now arrived at a point where we can appreciate 
the advance made in the development of the family. If we 
carry our thoughts back to the earliest times of which we 
can catch glimpses, we find that the head of the household 
knew no law but his own caprice. Women were kept in a 
state of stern subjection ; children and the aged were 
ruthlessly exposed to death. To realize the progress 
achieved we may compare the social conditions of the 
earliest ages with the pictures portrayed in the legends that 
have gathered by the fifth century around the person of 
King Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, his unhappy wife, and 
Orestes, the troubled child of their union. The living forms 
of pride, passion and temptation that stalk across the stage 
in this thrilling tragedy, the black mysterious woe worked 
at the banquet, the spectres of remorse and death and 
judgment, all turn upon the conflict 1 of the family relation- 
ships and the outrages against family love. 

The plot opens with the departure of the fleet for Troy. 
Agamemnon is appointed to command the expedition, which 
is to avenge the affront offered to his brother Menelaus and 
to demand reparation for the invasion of his rights by the 
Asiatic Paris. 2 The fates have ordained that Troy must 
fall, but the plans of the invaders are frustrated for a time. 
At Aulis, the meeting place of the Greek army, Agamemnon 
accidentally kills a stag which is sacred to Artemis and 
aggravates his impious act by irreverent words. Incensed 
by the desecration the goddess sends a pestilence upon the 
assembled Greeks and produces a complete calm. The 

1 Cf. R. von I her ing, p. 36. 

2 The mutual relations of the brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus at a 
later period are an attractive feature of the Homeric poems. Aga- 
memnon's care for his younger brother Menelaus appears in the encourage- 
ment he gives him to persevere in the course which duty demanded ; in 
his advice against embarking in a perilous enterprise with Diomedes, and 
in his solicitude over the wound inflicted by Pandarus. On the other 
side, Menelaus is heartbroken at the tidings of his brother's murder. He 
is agonized by the reflection that, while he was still on foreign soil, his 
brother should have fallen a victim to treachery, and the thought casts 
a shadow upon the rest of his life. 


grim goddess demands that the most beautiful maiden in 
Greece must die. Iphigenia, Agamemnon's daughter, enjoys 
Jinks fa his er tne unhappy pre-eminence. The fleet remains idle, the 
goddess implacable. Agamemnon, therefore, in order to 
appease the divine anger devotes his daughter as an atoning 
opinion, sacrifice to the common cause, but the intended victim is 
spirited away in a mysterious manner and she becomes 
the priestess at the altar of the goddess to whom she had 
well nigh fallen a victim. Meanwhile the tempest is 
infidelity gathering at home. ^Egisthus, who has been brought up 
revolting under the same roof and at the same board as Agamemnon, 
science, perfidiously avails himself of the chief's absence at the wars 
to corrupt Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wedded wife. By 
this time Troy has fallen, and Agamemnon returns. 
Landing at Argolis he repairs to his home only to meet his 
eafoui^/a death. ^ e ' ls accompanied by Cassandra, King Priam's 
resent^her daughter, whom he has received as guerdon for the part he 
has borne in the war. Stung by the importation of a 
foreign concubine, but urging the murder of her daughter in 
extenuation of her misdeed, Clytemnestra 1 wreaks her 
vengeance by butchering her unsuspecting husband at a 
feast, and cools her jealousy in Cassandra's blood. 2 The 
interest is now transferred to Orestes, the son of Agamemnon 
and Clytemnestra. Eight years have elapsed since the act 
of treachery was perpetrated when Orestes arrives at 
Mycenae and determines to avenge his father's death a 
resolution in which he is confirmed by the Delphic oracle. 
Repairing to the tomb of the departed he makes an offering 
applauded. o f a l oc k o f his hair. By means of this his sister recognizes 
rdatKns 1 him. They unite together to compass the death of the 
offenders and proceed to put their plan into execution. 
Orestes slays the guilty pair with his own hand and gains 
Love of the great fame among mortals. The drama now enters upon its 
overcomes third stage. Orestes has committed the sin of matricide 
and flees from the wrath of the gods. Pursued by the 


1 Scfsaysf^Eschylus, Agamem., 1492. 2 Odyss. iii. 253. 


Avenging Furies l the fugitive seeks refuge at Athens, where J f he curse 
he places himself under the patron goddess of the city. He matri cde. 
is acquitted of the charge. A sister's self-sacrifice finally 
brings salvation to the brother. Iphigenia, who had been 
snatched from destruction, reappears at Tauris, where 
human sacrifice was the established custom among the 
Scythian savages inhabiting the country. To her has been 
allotted the task of preparing the strangers who land on the 
coast. Fate brings Orestes her brother to the perilous 
shore ; he is doomed to die. While the preparations for his 
sacrifice are in progress the sister recognizes her brother ; 
their ties of relationship are too strong for her sense of duty 
and they both take flight. 

Such is the main outline of the legend. But with it is f h r j end ~ 
interwoven the description of the friendship between Orestes 
and Pylades, a worthy counterpart of family love, but a 
feeling to which society seems in early ages to have been a 

1 The word 'Epiio/y has been equated with the Sanskrit Saranjus. The 
Arcadian legend of Demeter Erinus (Pausanias iii. 25) and the Vedic 
legend of Saranjus exhibit a curious correspondence. 




The ques- To the subjects of the preceding pages the maintenance of 
property, the hearth, the transmission of authority, and the mutual 
relations of father and children, the question of property is 
closely allied. For the father could not be indifferent to the 
retention of his possessions in the family. This was the 
reason why Odysseus expressed a wish that the Phaeacian 
king might enjoy an abundance of blessings in his lifetime, 
and transmit his property to his sons. 1 Phainops, on the 
other hand, bemoans his own lot in leaving no heir, since his 
sons have been slain. 3 So, although the subject of property, 
viewed in its just dimensions, is far too large for a sketch of 
this kind, it holds such an important place that some 
allusion to it is indispensable. 

First of all, we must dissociate our minds from the 
elaborate systems of tenure and ownership which obtain in 
Europe at the present day, systems which represent the 
accumulated wisdom of Roman, medieval, and modern 
jurists. Still, even the crude ideas of the ancient Aryan, at 
the threshold of civilization, are not devoid of interest in this 
connection, illustrating as they do the origin of the concep- 
tions of private and public property, and the gradual growth 
of these ideas from inception to maturity. 3 

1 Odyss, vii. 148. 5 Iliad 'v. 153. 

3 The line of the development of ideas relating to property in early 
Europe is indicated by the absence of definite terms for " property " and 
" owner " from the early stages of the Aryan languages. To make up for 
the deficiency, those who spoke them resorted to a periphrasis, or the 
pronoun was extensively employed for the purpose. Of this expedient 
Roman law affords several illustrations. If the speaker wished to assert 


The imperfect ideas relating to property are attested by 
language. It has been pointed out 1 that the common ex- 
pression meum est, which was used in the legal process known 
in Roman law as vindicare (literally to " lay legal claim "), 
originally did not mean " it belongs exclusively to me," but 
" it belongs to the household community." It is highly 
significant also that Greek, a language which, generally 
speaking, is so rich in its vocabulary, so well adapted to 
express exuberance of thought and new ideas, so capable of 
conveying refined distinctions of meaning, included no special 
term for owner. The words ^ea-iror^ and Kvpios were after- 
wards employed for this purpose. The Latin dorninium was 
used in a similar sense, but it is clearly a makeshift, and is of 
comparatively recent origin. 

The main principle underlying all the primitive ideas 
property consists in the feeling of unity on the part of a 
tribe, clan or family, and the consequent sense of joint 
ownership. The size of the group was conditioned in a 
great measure by the means of subsistence which was 
available. So long as such a community led a wandering 
life, the common ownership would of necessity apply to P V JJ| in 
movables only. But as the boundaries became circumscribed movables 

J preceded 

through the proximity of other communities, and as the p * 
place of habitation was in some measure fixed by the needs m land - 
of an incipient agriculture, landed property began to develop 
itself. This evolution we shall endeavour to trace. 

The first point to be noticed, then, is that land originally 
belonged to the community, and not to the individual, or ofland - 
even to the family. The idea of individual existence is of 
comparatively recent growth, and in nearly all ancient 
countries the life of the individual is so absorbed in the life 

his right to any object he expressed his claim thus : aio hanc rein mcam 
csse (''I assert that this thing is mine"). That this custom was not 
confined to Rome, but rather was at one time a universal usage, is seen 
from the parallels to be discovered elsewhere. Such is the Sanskrit 
term mamedam^ "This is mine." Schrader, Reallex. 171. 
1 Leist, Altar. Jus civile ii., p. 298. 



belongs to 
family, not 
to the 

cases of 

and Slavs. 

of the community that he cannot be conceived in isolation or 
separation from the rest of its members. The reason for this 
is obvious. It simply expresses the evident truth that each 
man is dependent upon his fellows. 

The foregoing facts furnish some data for inferences 
concerning the growth of the idea of private property, but 
considerable caution has to be exercised in connection with 
the subject. If we expect to find established at this early 
era any system of individual ownership, we shall be dis- 
appointed. It has to be remembered that even after the 
modification of communal ownership the individual is still 
unrecognized. The truth is that private property is first 
vested in the family and not in the individual. This applies 
to movables as well as to land. 

From the description of the royal family of Troy l it would 
appear that the Trojans had not risen above this plane of 
development. King Priam's palace was occupied by his sons 
and daughters. Marriage made no difference. " In it were 
fifty chambers of polished stone, builded hard by one another, 
wherein Priam's sons slept besides their wedded wives." 

The analogy presented by the backward races akin to 
the Greeks and Italians is most pertinent here. In India 
property is still sometimes reserved to the family : " The 
combined family in India," says a writer who speaks with 
authority on this subject, 3 "rests upon a community of 
dwelling, meals, worship and property. The common pre- 
paration of the food and the fact of their taking meals 
together is the surest outward sign of relationship, and the 
members of the family are therefore strictly denoted as the 
community of the ekapakena vasatdm, viz., " those who cook 
in common." The Southern Slavs, too, whose character is 
distinguished by a strong conservatism, retain the custom of 
family ownership. 

The probability is, therefore, that a practice which is now 
confined to these unprogressive races once obtained among 

1 Iliad vi. 243. 

Jolly, Recht und Sitte, p. 76. 


those who have made more rapid strides in civilization. The 
property, then, belonged to the male members of the family. 
Under the category of things enjoyed by the family in 
common would fall not only the produce, but cattle too ; in 
short, all that is comprised within the Sanskrit term re, rd? 
and the cognate in Latin, res, which appears, for example, 
in the phrases rem augere, to " increase one's income," and 
res familiaris, " family property." Over this property the 
head of the household wielded in the earliest times an 
almost unbounded authority. But how far his power was 
defined it is impossible to speak positively, dealing, as we are 
here, with an age anterior to the establishment of any legalized 
system of property or ownership. At the same time it must 
be remembered that, whatever that power may have been in 
the earliest days, at a later period it was abridged both in 
Greece and Rome. 

It has been made clear that in primitive society land Private 


belonged to the community and was cultivated on the ^j^ 
communal principle for the public benefit. We must, 
therefore, look elsewhere for the origin of individual owner- 
ship. Individual ownership originated in the difficulty of 
dealing with movable possessions. In Sanskrit they are 
called dravina? in Greek a<f>av^ ovala 3 as opposed to <f>avpd 
(real property, like land), because they can be put out of 
sight and made away with, 4 and, again, in Latin res mobiles. 
Movables formed the basis and the standard of all private 
property. Even in regard to movables it is necessary to 
speak with some qualification. For what has been said in 
previous pages concerning the joint possession of land 
applies in a large measure to movable property also. In the 
first instance this likewise belonged to the community as a 

Cattle would in the nature of the case form the chief part cattle. 

1 Schrader, Reallex., p. 171. ' Cf. dru, " to run." 

3 Cf. dfavrjs rrXovros, opposed to yfj in Aristoph., Eccles. 602. 

4 Cf. Menander, At/'o-*oAor, 2, 16. TT\OVTOS dtyavfjs 6i> 0-u /cnropvar 


of the property. It has been already mentioned that the ox 
was the measure of wealth and the medium of exchange. It 
was the standard by which the value of armour was estimated ; 
the price of a slave was paid in oxen ; each tassel on the 
aegis of Athene l was worth a hundred oxen. 

Allusion has already been made to the derivation of the 
wordflecuma, "property" in stock, fromflecus, "flock," and 
its subsequent development into " money." We find in 
Festus a passage which illustrates the transition and is 
otherwise interesting in this connection : 

Peculatus furtum publicum dici cceptum est a pecore, quia ab eo 
initium eius fraudis esse ccepit, siquidem ante aes aut argentum signatum 
ob delicta poena gravissima erat duarum ovium et xxx. bovum . . . quae 
pecudes, postquam sere signato uti coepit P. R. Tarpeia lege cautum est, 
ut bos centusibus, ovis decusibus aestimaretur. 2 

The age of primitive communism has left its impress on 
cattle a g language; nay, there are survivals of the primitive usage 
com- val f amon g us at the present day. When, as we have had 
munism. occasion to notice, pasture land belonged to the community, 
and was open to the herds and flocks of several owners, it 
became usual to distinguish the flocks and herds by a 
peculiar mark (signare}. To this custom the poet Vergil 
alludes in the Georgics : 

Post partum cura in vitulos traducitur omnis ; 
Continuoque notas et nomina gentis inurunt. 3 

Sheep and goats required a different treatment, for the 
growing wool and hair would conceal the brand. Accordingly 
they were marked with colours. This custom throws light 
upon a point of Roman law. The jurist Gaius refers to the 

1 Iliad vi. 236 ; xxiii. 705 ; ii. 448. 

2 Ed. Miiller, p. 237, quoted in Schrader's Reallex., p. 281. "A theft 
from the public came to be called " peculation," from pecus, " cattle," 
because the offence originated with cattle, for before bronze or silver 
were coined the heaviest penalty for misdemeanours consisted of two 
sheep and thirty oxen. After the Roman people began to employ bronze 
coin it was provided by the Tarpeian law that an ox should be valued 
at a hundred asses, a sheep at ten." 

3 iii. 157. "After birth all the care passes to the calves in turn ; and 
straightway they brand the mark and name of the race.'' 


case in which it was necessary to determine the right of 
ownership over cattle, and refers to the methods of evidence. 

" Ex grege vel una ovis aut capra in jus adducebatur vel etiam pilus 
inde sumebatur." ! 

The reference is clearly to the tuft of wool which bore the 
mark of ownership painted in colours. Such precautions 
served a double purpose. They prevented confusion, 
especially in the event of an animal straying from the herd, 
and at the same time supplied a clue to its recovery in the 
case of theft. 

Personal property, then, in the strict sense of the term, 
was limited to what was worn or otherwise used in everyday 
life. The male possessed his implements and his weapons, 
the female her clothes and ornaments and these accom- 
panied them to the grave. 

We have seen that the community comes first among the 
social sanctions of the ancient world. The effect of this 
idea is visible in various countries and various circumstances. 
Traces of the collective ownership of land are to be found in communal 
the most distant and different parts of the globe, as well among ship 
among the East Indians 2 as among the American Redskins. 3 ?aVes!' y * 
Still more pertinent to our purpose is the existence of Among 
communal ownership among races closely connected with 
the Greeks and Italians. We learn on the authority of 
Caesar that such a system obtained among the Germans, 4 
and his statement is supported by Tacitus, 5 while, as is 

1 iv. 17. "Either a sheep or a she-goat used to be brought into court, 
or even a tuft used to be taken from it." Cf. R. von Ihering, p. 15, n. 

2 Maine. Village Communities in the East and West, and Phear, The 
Aryan Village in India and Ceylon. 

* Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, p. 455. 

4 De Bell. Gall. vi. 22, and iv. i. 

5 Germ, c. 26. In the north and middle of England traces of common 
ownership are still to be found. " Most of the meadows lie in parallel 
undulations or rigs . . . They seldom run straight, but tend to curve 
towards the left. At each end of the field a bank, locally called a balk, 
sometimes three or four feet high, runs at right angles to the rigs. The 
fields were originally common, and for fairness of division were arranged 
in strips or rigs, no man being allowed two continuous rigs." Lubbock, 
Beauties of Nature, p. 106. 


words for 


well known, the system exists in Russia down to the present 
day. We now pass to the evidence which shows that the 
custom existed in Greece and Italy. 

It may be mentioned that the Indian, Greek and Italian 
races possessed in common a word for land as the staple of 
subsistence. That word appears in the Sanskrit budhnd, the 
Greek TrvQpijv, and the Latin fundus. Its connection with 
the Old High German bodam and the modern German boden 
is undoubted, 1 nor are we left in the dark as regards the 
derivation. Underneath all the forms lies the idea of 
digging, i.e. tilling, as the chief means of support. 2 

The following passage in the Iliad probably alludes to the 
re-measurement of common-land as a precaution against the 
encroachments of the dishonest upon a neighbour's share. 3 
The only way to detect dishonesty was to re-measure the plots 
of ground. Thus we read in the Iliad : 

oure TTOT ai^/M^rat Aai/aot AUKIOVS eovvavTO 
Tt^os a\f/ <Scra<r$at, eVei TO, TrpwTCi 7reA.acr$V. 
dAA' <us T* d/x<' oupoicri Sv' dvepe 8r)pLa.a(rOov, 
/xerp' eV \fpcrlv e^ovres eVi^uvw eV dpovpr;, 
6A.t-ya> ei/t X^P^ cpiiftyTov zrept t(rr;s, 

apa TOVS Steepycoi/ 


Traces of the early usage by which land was held by the 
tribe or family in common are to be found in historic Greece. 
In Sparta, Leucadia, and Locris the alienation of land was 
prohibited. Still more definite and significant were the laws 
laid down and the theories propounded by the early legis- 

1 Cf. Grimm, Deutsch. Worterbuch^ sub. v. Boden^ and Fick, Vergl. 
Worterbuch, p. 131. 

3 The following groups of words are cognate : Sanskrit ava-b&dha, 
"dug out"; Greek p a 6vs, "deep," podpos, "pit"; Latin fodio, "dig," 
fossa, "ditch" (forfodsa, as fundus forfudnus). 

3 Unprotected orphans were especially exposed to fraudulent dealing. 
Cf. Iliad xxii. 488, 489. 

4 Iliad xii. 419. " Nor could the warlike Danaans drive back the 
Lykians from the wall, when once they had drawn near thereto. But as 
two men contend about the marches of their land, with measuring 
rods in their hands, in a common field, when in narrow space they strive 
for equal shares, even so the battlements divided them." (LANG, LEAF 
and MYERS, transl.} 


lators of Greece. Aristotle explains that the open-field 
system was extinct in Greece, 1 but had once prevailed. 3 It 
is stated that Lycurgus advocated an equality (laor^ rt?). 
Such, too, was the purpose kept in view by Phaleas of 
Chalcedon and Philolaus of Thebes. The frequency of the 
term dvaSavfjios, namely, redistribution of land, and the 
evidence for the operation also points in the direction of 
communal ownership during the early history of Greek 

The facts already adduced from the province of the law-giver 
and the domain of the philosopher are strikingly confirmed by lan e ua & e - 
the history of the word /cX^/oo?, which was universally used 
for lot or inheritance. Thus, in Homer the phrase olicos /cal 
/c\T;/305, "house and a parcel of ground," occurs more than 
once, as in these lines : 

Ov Ol alKS d/XVI/O/ACVa) TTCpt TTOLTpY]<S 

oAA* a\o\6s re (rot] KCU TralSes oT 
Kai OIKOS Kal K\fjpos a/ojparosj et KV 'A^ato 
Ol\(avrai <rvv vyval <f>L\yv es irarpiSa yatav. 8 

But tc\fjpo$ does not necessarily mean anything more than 
that the right to a share in the open field shall be safeguarded. 

As regards Rome, the evidence is somewhat obscure, but it Italy. 
cannot be doubted that there also absolute ownership was 
originally unknown, and that the development of the ideas of 
property proceeded on the same lines as in Greece. The use 
of the word sors presents an exact parallel to the word to 
which reference has just been made. Like /cXrJpo? it indicated 
a patrimony ; 4 but it really carries the mind back to an earlier 

1 Pol. ii. 4, 1263 A. - Cf. Pol. \. 2, 1252 B. 

3 Iliad xv. 496. " Lo, it is no dishonourable thing for him to fall 
fighting for his country, but his wife and his children after him are safe, 
and his house unharmed, and his lot of land, if but the Achaians fare with 
their ships to their own country." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.}. 
Cf. Odyss. xiv. 62, where the swineherd Eumaeus laments the long 
absence of his master, who would have given him "somewhat of his own, 
a house and a parcel of ground and a comely wife, such as a kind lord 
gives to his man." (BUTCHER and LANG, transit). Cf. the adjective 
no\vK\rjpos (Odyss. xiv. 211). 

4 Cf. Festus, Miiller, p. 297. 


time when property was divided by lot (sors). Such, too, is 
the meaning implied in the word consors, which was used for 
those who participated in a community of goods. 1 

JJ^y" Mythology is a rich source of information upon the social 

institutions of primitive times, indeed, the oldest of all 
witnesses ; and it throws light upon the growth of property. 

Jge e o?KiS The mythic age of King Saturn is depicted as a period when 

Saturn. communism prevailed, and it is not devoid of significance 
that communism coincided with the reign of a king to whom 
was ascribed the introduction of agriculture, 3 the arts and 
habits of civilized life and social order. But there is yet 
more direct testimony than any that mythology can afford. 

^biicuT Such evidence is presented by the existence of the ager 
publicus, or common lands, which were the property of the 
state. In earlier days they proved a bone of contention 
between patrician and plebeian, when the former attempted 
to monopolize them to the disadvantage of the latter without 
having acquired any title to them. In later days the subject 
formed a battle-ground on which the rival claims of aristo- 
cracy and democracy were fought out, The stubborn and 
protracted controversy and the agrarian laws to which it 
gave rise led to the most stirring episodes in the history of 
Republican Rome. Thus, throughout many centuries 
community of property in pasture land was maintained in 
the Roman commonwealth. 3 

So far we have seen the general tendency of the laws of 
property. But it may be possible to trace more precisely the 
successive stages of the development of the ideas on the 
subject, and we may be guided in our attempt by the three- 
fold division of the periods of civilization which we laid down 
in a former page, namely, into the ages of hunting, pasture, 

1 For an examination of the evidence regarding the later development 
of conceptions of property see Mommsen, Staatsrecht iii. i, 24 ; E. Meyer, 
Geschichte des Alter turns, 518. 

2 This is signified by the name, which is connected with serere, " to 
sow." Similarly his wife is Ops, the goddess of plenty. 

3 See De Laveleye's well-known work, De la propri&te et de ses formes 
primitives, 1874. 


and agriculture. The beginnings of the conceptions of 
property are hardly discernible in the periods when the chase 
furnished the chief means of subsistence, unless weapons and 
clothes can be called by the name. When life was of the 
rudest description, and the scanty wants of the individual 
were supplied by hunting or fishing, the idea of property, 
whether communal or individual, had not yet taken shape ; 
indeed, the necessity of any disposition or adjustment of 
property had not been felt ; nor had society advanced 
beyond the communal system in the pastoral period. The 
pasture grounds of the family or the tribe were open 
to all. 

The rise of agriculture, as was observed in another chapter, Tht - riseot 
marked an important advance in the social economy. Still, ture - 
long after husbandry had been introduced, and the cultiva- 
tion of the soil had become familiar to the primitive Aryans, 
they remained on the same level as before in the matter of 
the ownership of land. As pasture had been held in 
common previously, so was arable land now. But an 
advance in the direction of a system of individual ownership 
is visible, and the several steps towards its achievement may 
be traced. 

The first was when the land was cultivated jointly by the Joint cuiti- 

J J vation. 

community, and the produce was divided among those who 
had shared the labour. That such a method obtained widely 
may not be doubted in the face of varied testimony that can 
be adduced. We have it on the authority of Diodorus 
Siculus that the Celt-Iberian races observed this principle : 


KoivoTroiov/xei/oi jAeraSiSoao'U' c/caoru) TO /xepos, KCU rots voox^wa- 
TI ycwpyols Odvarov TO TrpocrrtfJiov 

But this is far from being an isolated instance of this 
archaic mode of cultivation. It has existed in countries as 

1 v. 34. " These cultivate the land, dividing it each year, they put the 
produce in a common stock, and give each his share ; if farmers appro- 
priate anything, death is the penalty prescribed." 



different and as distant from each other as Ireland and 
Mexico. 1 It is a matter of history that such a system 
prevailed in the Middle Ages in Italy and France. It still 
obtains among the Slavs, who, as we have often had occasion 
to observe, have lagged behind in the path of civilization, and 
have clung with stubborn tenacity to usages which are 
obsolete elsewhere. Such is the custom still in some parts 
of Servia and Croatia. Now, it is contrary to all historical 
precedent that the less perfect system should supplant the 
more perfect. We may therefore conclude that at one time 
communism was generally practised. 
Re- The next step marks an advance from an economical point 

allotment m ... r 

of the soil, of view. It was the periodical interchange of the plots by 
which the cultivated land was parcelled out among several 
families. Under this arrangement a temporary right of 
occupation was allowed to the individual. A similar custom 
was observed in Germany. A similar method exists in Russia 
also, and judging from the provisions of certain old Slavonic 
laws, it would appear to have been common at one time in 
that country. This method of husbandry was not without 
its advantages. For the prospect of obtaining full and 
undivided possession of the produce, the work of his hands, 
served to stimulate the holder to further exertions and 
imparted an invaluable impetus to agriculture. The in- 
dustrious husbandman looked for a larger return for the 
labour expended than his slothful neighbour. Consequently 
a premium was set upon industry, and the community 

Beginning benefited in proportion. From the establishment of this 

of personal . . . 

property ownership it was not a long step to the recognition of 

in land. 

personal property. It appears probable that the new 
departure dated from the adoption of agriculture, which 
induced a feeling of settlement and a sense of security. 2 
Above all, horticulture tended to deepen this idea of fixity. 

1 Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, p. 458. 

2 Cf. the transition from the meaning of dwelling to that of ruling, in 
such words as the Sanskrit k$i, Latin sedere and possidere^ German 
sitzen and besitzen. 


The tree requires to be nurtured ; while the corn crop takes 
twelve months to mature, and enjoys but a short period of 
maturity, the tree continues to yield fruit year by year. 

The introduction of property among the Romans was by Division of 
legend ascribed to Romulus. At the foundation of the city 
he distributed the arable land by giving every citizen two 
acres (jugera) in perpetuity (lieredimri). The method of 
distribution of land in Greece during the heroic period is 
merged in obscurity. This much, however, is tolerably clear, 
that Greece in this respect exhibits an advance upon the state 
of things which, according to Caesar and Tacitus, 1 prevailed 
in Germany, for there the possession was only temporary. 

The story of Meleager is instructive upon this point. 
The ^Etolian hero, whose arms have hitherto been crowned 
with victory, in consequence of a mother's curse holds aloof 
in the war between the Calydonians and Curetes. Among 
the brilliant promises made to him by the old men of the 
town, if he will again join in the fight, is a gift of land : 

TOV & Al<7(TOVTO ypOVT9 

irefjiTrov 8 $eo>v Zepryas dpurrovs, 
Kat CI/AWCU, VTroa-\6p.voL /ou'ya Bwpov. 
TTLOTCLTOV TreSiov KaXvSaivos epav 1/775, 
/xtv rjvwyov TC/X.CVOS TrepiKaAAes cAeV&u 
HevTrjKovroyvov, TO /txei/ T}/XIO-V oivoTre'Soio, 
"H/xicrv Sc \]/i\T)V apocni/ TreSi'oio Ta/A<r0ai. s 

The transition from public to private property is also 
marked by the growth of terms for hedges and boundaries, 
Stone walls or ditches served a two-fold purpose, as precau- 
tions against trespass and as symbols of ownership. 3 That 

1 Caesar, De Bell. Gall. iv. I ; vi. 22. 

- Iliad 'ix. 574-580. "And the elders of the Aetolians sent the best of 
the gods' priests and besought him to come forth and save them, with 
promise of a mighty gift ; to wit, they bade him, where the plain of 
lovely Kalydon was fattest, to choose him out a fair demesne of fifty 
ploughgates, the half thereof vine-land and the half open plough-land." 
(LANG, LEAF and MYERS, trans.) 

8 If, as is possible, orchards were the first form of private property in 
land, hedges would come into use for the purpose of protecting them 
from intruders. Cf. Vergil, Georgics ii. 371 ; Isaiah v. 2. 


such means were employed in Homeric Greece is evident, 
for example, from the farm scene described in the Shield of 
Achilles. Here are found a Kairero^ or " trench," and a 
epKos or " hedge." x 

The adoption of boundaries and land-marks is still more 
significant of the changes introduced in regard to property. 
But, as may be imagined, they were of comparatively late 
origin. The reason is not obscure. It has already been 
made clear that land belonged in the earliest times to the 
community ; the need of marks of individual ownership, 
therefore, did not make itself felt. The following instance 
occurs in Homer. The poet is describing a strife between 
the Olympian gods. After an angry altercation Ares 
launches his spear at Athene's tasselled aegis, or mystic 
shield ; upon this the goddess hurls a stone at her 
opponent : 

Kct/xcvov fv TreSio), jueXava, Tpr)%yv re /xeycu/ TC, 
Tov p av8/)S Trpdrepoi Otcrav t/x/xcvai ovpov 

Vergil in his imitation of the line adds a touch which 
recalls the object for which landmarks were originally 
instituted : 

Saxum antiquum, ingens, campo quod forte iacebat, 
Limes agro positus, litem ut discerneret arvis. 3 

The abuses of the boundary stone, which are denounced 
and prohibited in early laws, afford an interesting insight 
into the social conditions that called such land-marks into 
being. Judging from the frequent prohibitions which occur 
in the early literature of various countries, we may infer that 
encroachments were not uncommon. An old law at Rome 

iii. 564. Cf. the story told by Apollodorus i. 8, I, of Oineus, 
King of Calydon, slaying his son Toxeus for leaping over the fence. 

2 Iliad xxi. 403. " That lay upon the plain, black, rugged, huge, which 
men of old time set to be the land-mark of a field." (LANG, LEAF and 
MYERS, trans I.) 

3 sEneid xii. 897. "An ancient huge stone, which by chance was 
lying on the plain, set up as a boundary, to keep off quarrels from the 
fields." Cf. Tibullus i. iii. 43 ; Ovid, Fasti ii. 600 ; Lucan i. 215. 


enacted that not only the offender but also the oxen which 
were instrumental to the trespass were accursed : 

" eum qui terminum exarasset, et ipsum et boves sacros esse." l 

The circumstance that these boundary stones or termini 
were in Italy ascribed to Numa Pompilius, pre-eminently the 
lawgiver and saint of the line of Roman kings, attests both 
their antiquity and their sanctity. He placed them under 
the protection of the god Terminus. Every year sacrifices 
of cakes, meal and fruit were offered, but it was unlawful to 
stain the boundary stones with blood. 

" Numa Pompilius, a just man and politick withall, one who knew well 
how to govern, and that by the rule of Philosophic, caused his territorie 
to be confined between him and his neighbour nations, and called those 
frontier bonds by the name of Terminus^ as the superintendent, overseer 
and keeper of peace and amitie between neighbours ; and therefore he 
supposed that this Terminus ought to be preserved pure and cleane from 
all blood and impollute with any murder.' 2 

In Greece such stones were consecrated to Zei)? opto?, the Greece, 
god of boundaries. We shall doubtless be right in inferring 
that there is a close connection between the worship in 
Greece and Italy. It will be seen that the cult or worship 
of the Greek god Zeus closely corresponds to that of the 
Roman Jupiter, and in matter of fact, for various reasons on 
which we need not expatiate, Terminus is no other than 
Jupiter himself. 

The general result of our inquiry into the growth of ideas SVidei^ 
of personal property on Greek and Italian soil leaves upon P r P ert y- 
our minds the following impression. It has been seen that 
in the earliest ages of which we have any knowledge private 
property did not exist. Everything belonged to the com- 
munity in general or to the lesser circle of the family. The 
nearest approach to individual ownership is to be found in 

1 The old German laws dealt severely with those who removed their 
neighbour's landmark. Schrader, Reatlex., p. 308 ; Anton, Geschichte 
der teutschen Landivirtschaft i. 64. But nowhere was the sin regarded 
with greater detestation than in Palestine. Cf. Deut. xix. 14; xxvii. 17 ; 
Proverbs xxii. 28 ; xxiii. 10. 

2 Plutarch, Romane Questions, 15. (HOLLAND, transit) 


the possession of weapons or ornaments for one's own use. 
The movement in the direction of recognizing personal 
property began with movables. In course of time the new 
system reacted upon the tenure of land. Whereas formerly 
private possession of land, whether arable, pasture or forest, 
was unknown, the precedent established in favour of 
individual ownership of movables led to individual owner- 
ship of land also. But in both cases, movables and land, 
the evolution proceeded from common to individual posses- 




To the modern mind imbued with ideas of Christian 
philanthropy, and habituated for centuries to free institu- re P u nant - 
tions, the practice of the ancient world in regard to slavery 
is naturally abhorrent. It must be remembered, however, 
that the- principles which are regularly established and 
tacitly assumed among us at the present day are really 
the result of a protracted struggle and of a slow evolution. 
The reasonableness of slavery was never doubted for a 
moment by the finest thinkers of antiquity, and its abolition 
in these latter days has been due to the operation of 
humanitarian ideas, working slowly but surely deep down in 
the conscience of civilized mankind. 

In contemplating the attitude of the early Greeks and JJSSude of 
Romans towards slavery, three points have to be borne 
steadily in mind. 

The ancient world, as we have had occasion to mention 
before, 1 was unfamiliar with the idea of humanity, and of the tl< 
sanctity of human life. These were the products of a much absence of 
later age. Indeed, it may not be too much to say that in 
early antiquity these ideas could not have come home to the 
ancestors of the Greeks and Romans with the same force. * 
The world was young and vigorous, life was simple, the race 
robust. The stranger and the beggar were under the protec- 
tion of the gods, as they are among primitive races at this 
day ; they had claims, which were always acknowledged, on 
the consideration of every householder to whose roof they 

1 Ch. xiii., iS4,.iS5. 


b?other man re P a i re( ^- But these courtesies were reserved by Greeks 
hood. an d Romans for men of the same blood as themselves. 
Even the Greeks shared the placid self-satisfaction and 
self-adoration of savages, and the Romans avowed a con- 
temptuous indifference to the rest of the human species. 
We have already alluded to these attributes of barbarism. 
Where such sentiments were entertained it is not singular 
that the obligations towards foreigners were not realized to 
the full. This forms one of the most striking contradictions 
of the Greek mind. Usually so much alive to the value of 
personal freedom, so jealous of any encroachment on their 
rights, the Greeks did not extend their sympathy to the 
" barbarian." Even Plato, the idealist philosopher of Greece, 
in discussing the question of slavery, premises that no Hellene 
shall be reduced to servitude in his Utopia or Ideal 
Republic. 1 

The bondsman, therefore, in primitive conditions of life, 
lay outside the pale of humanity. He was destitute of legal 
rights, he could claim no protection. He was naturally a 
slave. 2 He was a " body," a&pa* nay, mere " animate 
property.'* 4 

That other races besides the Greeks and Italians at a later 
period attached no intrinsic value to humanity is evident 
from the statements of various writers. Such were the 

1 v. 469. Cf. Xenophon, Mem. ii. 7, 6. This principle had been 
anticipated in Egypt. The Roman view was that no citizen could serve 
another. Plaut., Trin. ii. 4, 144. The Romans affected no scruples in 
enslaving prisoners taken in war with other Italian states. 

2 Aristotle, Pol. i. 5. 

3 It is curious to find this use of o-o>/iara in the New Testament. 
Rev. xviii. 13. These practices died hard. See e.g. Ducange i, 514 ; 
Agathias, Book ii. ; Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, pp. 343, 344. 
A similar state of things existed in Denmark. Kolderup-Rosenvinge, 
Grundriss der Dan. Rechtsgeschichte (iibers. von Homeyer), Berlin, 1825, 
p. 18. So again in Moslem law the slave Js looked upon as uncon- 
ditional property. Arist., PoL, i. 13 and 3, OIKI'O 8e reAetos e* Sov'Xooi/ 
/cat f\v&pa>v. On the other side, see Philemon, Fragm., 410, Meineke. 
The poet is certainly in advance of the philosophers. 

4 Xenophon, De Rep. A then. i. 10, mentions a custom characteristic 
of the age. He says it was forbidden to strike a slave at Athens for fear 
of hitting a freeman by mistake. 


ancient Germans. 1 Though, as a rule, they treated their 
slaves leniently, they regarded them as so many " bodies," 
sold them as property, beat them, and killed them at 

The principle which we have enunciated was doubtless the 
main argument in the eyes of a Greek or Roman for the 
institution of slavery. But there are other things which 
should be taken into consideration, and these, if they do not stances 
palliate or justify the system, at any rate serve to render it 
intelligible. The truth is that in certain conditions 
civilization, and at certain stages of development, slavery may 
be a necessity and a substitute for worse evils. This is the 
opinion of Herbert Spencer, and anyone who views dis- 
passionately the earlier history of culture will acknowledge 
that he has some truth on his side. " It is quite possible," 
says he, 3 " to hold that when, instead of devouring their 
captured enemies, men made slaves of them, the change was 
a step in advance ; and to hold that this slavery, though 
absolutely bad, was relatively good, was the best thing 
practicable for the time being." A representative of a very 
different school expresses similar sentiments. No less an 
authority at once on the slave-trading countries and on the 
spirit of Christianity than General Gordon had something to 
say in palliation of it. He drew a clear distinction between 
slave-raids and domestic slavery ; against the former he 
relentlessly waged war, to the latter he was in a measure 
reconciled. 4 But this is far from implying that the system is 
in itself desirable, or that it ought not gradually to be 

The second point which has to be observed is, that ?eJuSn y ir 
among races that have only attained to a low level of culture 

1 Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterth., 1854, pp. 343, 344. 

2 Tacitus, Germ., 25. But the historian claims that the slaves' con- 
dition compares favourably with their position among the Romans. 

3 Study of Sociology, p. 253. 

4 See his letters from the Soudan, edited by G. Birkbeck Hill, and 
entitled, Gordon in Central Africa (Index, Slavery], and Oxford House 
papers, second series, p. 79. 

not galling 




subjection to the power of another is not so galling nor so 
repulsive as it appears to the modern mind, which possessing, 
on the one hand, an exquisite sensibility, is, on the other, 
imbued with a lively sense of the horrors of slavery, and 
familiarized with all the evils incidental to the system. Nay, 
in many respects unprogressive races appear to advantage as 
compared with the civilized races of antiquity. Such are 
some of the negroes of Africa, among whom custom, in the 
absence of law, prescribes that no slave-mother shall be sold 
without her suckling. 1 The customs affecting the owner 
breathe a similar spirit. He is held responsible for the acts 
of his slave. Such, too, were the ancient Mexicans, who often 
liberated their slaves, and punished the murder of one of 
them as if he were a freeman. 2 " The bondage and vassalage 
of Germany in the past," says Grimm, writing in i828, 3 
" was in many respects easier and more amiable than the 
depressed existence of our peasants and factory hands." 4 
Such was the deliberate decision of a German who had 
devoted his life to a study of German institutions in all their 

We proceed to trace the early history of slavery, noting, as 
we proceed, the hardships, the alleviations of the slave's lot, 
the vicissitudes which the system experienced, and the 
abolition of it. 

That in primitive times the menial duties devolved upon 
the freeborn members of the Italian household would be a 
natural supposition, and, as a matter of fact, Latin writers 
make direct statements to that effect. Such is the testimony 
of the antiquarian Pliny : 

Panem faciebant Quirites mulierumque id opus erat olim sicut etiam 
nunc in plurimis gentium. 5 

1 Waitz, Anthrop. der Naturvolker, Leipzig, 1872, ii. 213. 

2 Ibid. iv. 87. 3 Deutsche Rechtsalt. xv. 

4 Cf. O. Fliigel in Zeitschrift fur Volkerpsychologie und Sprachwissen- 
schaft, xii. 57. 

5 xviii. 28, i. "The Quirites (a dignified term for Romans) made 
bread, and it was the women's task, just as now among most nations." 


But he does not stand alone. Columella,* Vergil, 2 and 
Ovid 3 bear out the assertion. 

The historian Herodotus states that in the earliest times 
the Greeks did not possess slaves, and he refers to an 
episode which is interesting in this connection. He is *" 
speaking of the expulsion of the Pelasgoi from Attica, and 
cites the evidence of an earlier historian, Hecataeus. The 
Athenians justified their action in driving them out of the 
country for this reason : 

yap rov<s IleXacryovs VTTO r<3 'Y/x^orcrw, cv6evrv 6p/xu>- 
raSe. <<HTaV yap cuei ras o-^crepas flvyarcpas re Kat 
TraiSas or* vScop CTTI rrjv 'EvveaKpovvov* ov yap ca-at TOVTOV TOV 
atfricn K<D ovSe rotat aXXoKri "EXA^cri OIK era?' OKCJS Se eA^otev avrat, 
TOV? rTeAaayovs vrro vySpios T /cat dXiycupnys fiiaarOal o-c^cas. 4 

Similarly Athenaeus mentions that in unprogressive regions, 
like Locris and Phocis, the menial service of the household 
was performed by the younger members : 

cWiarOai. yap ev rats oucetaKais SiaKovetv TOUS i/ecorepous roi9 Trpecr- 
^vrepois. 5 

In support of his statement that there were no slaves in 
the olden time he cites Crates, a poet of the Old Comedy : 

A. reiTa SovXov ov8e ts 

dAA* avros avruJ S^T* avrjp yepwv 8ia/coi/>Jcri. 6 

We have here doubtless a relic of a primitive age. 

These survivals of a very primitive period lasted in some 
parts of Greece to a later time than elsewhere. But, as a 

1 xii., Pref. 7. * &neid\\\\. 410. s /*<# iii. 741. 

4 vi. 137. "The Pelasgians, they say, while they lived at the foot of 
Hymettus, were wont to sally forth from that region and commit 
outrages, as follows. The Athenians used at that time to send their sons 
and daughters to draw water at the fountain called The Nine Springs, 
inasmuch as neither they nor the Greeks had any household slaves in 
those days, and the maidens, whenever they came, were used rudely and 
insolently by the Pelasgians." (RAWLINSON, transl.) 

5 vi. p. 264 d. Meineke. " For that it was a custom in their households 
for the younger men to minister to the elder." 

6 vi. 267 e. " Then not one shall own one male or female slave but 
each, be he never so old, shall attend to himself." 


and war. 




and agri- 

rule, in the earliest ages of which we can catch glimpses the 
slave appears as part and parcel of the domestic household. 
Still his condition is not slavery properly so called. In the 
Homeric age the contrasts of nationality have not as yet 
found a clear expression. 1 In the early Roman family the 
children are distinguished from the slave by the term liberi, 
but in other respects their position is not widely separated 
from that of the slave. 

The origin of slavery in the strict sense of the term should 
probably be sought in the institution of war. Slavery is based 
on the idea that only foreigners can be enslaved. We are 
therefore enabled to fix to some extent the time at which 
slavery, as a system, came into being. The time probably 
coincides with the earliest epochs in the history of the 
Aryan races, i.e., after they had parted company with their 
sister races, and assumed a separate existence. Various 
considerations concur in lending colour to this belief. This 
was the time when the migratory hordes would be brought 
into contact with other races, especially with strata of popu- 
lation who were previously in possession of the conquered 
country. The presumption is, therefore, that this was also the 
time when a separation arose between the bond and the free. 
The institution of slavery, then, is closely connected with 
that of war, and war was the chief though not the only means 
of acquiring slaves. It appears highly probable that in the 
hunting-stage 3 prisoners of war were despatched for obvious 
reasons. During the absence of their masters there would be 
no one to guard them, except women and infirm old men. 
Their maintenance would be a burden, especially considering 
that in such conditions of existence the means of support 
could not be other than precarious. But when the transition 
took place to the pastoral and agricultural stage, as 
civilization advanced step by step, and as life became more 
settled and food more plentiful, a more lenient treatment of 
prisoners taken in war became possible. Yet even under 

1 Curtius, History of Greece, i. 138. 

2 Ch. ix. 


these altered circumstances discretion was exercised and a 
distinction was drawn. That the inhabitants of a wasted 
country or captured town were neither massacred nor spared 
indiscriminately may be gathered from such episodes as that 
described in the following passage in Homer : 

"Evff f)fjLfo)v iroAAovs p. 
Tovs 8' avayov u>ovs, <T<J>L<TLV 

The evidence of language bears out this surmise. The n b 
terms for slave, when resolved into their component parts, etymology, 
shed light upon the origin of slavery, and are in many 
instances pathetically eloquent. 

It has been already seen that in India the victorious race Indian 
was called tfrya-vdrna-, a fact which is particularly instructive 
in view of the racial characteristics which, as we are led to 
believe, marked the Aryan. 3 For varna denotes the dis- 
tinctive complexion 8 of the two races that came into contact 
in that region. On the other hand, the vanquished popula- 
tion was called dasa-varna-. Persia presents to view both a Persia - 
parallel state of things and an equivalent expression. The 
term dd'sa doubtless should be equated with the Zend danhu 
and daqyu, which bear the meaning of " province." Thus in 
the Cuneiform inscriptions Darius styles himself King of 
Persia and King of the Dahyus, namely, the conquered people 
or provinces. 4 

The wholesale enslavement of subject populations and l^e? in 
their reduction to serfdom evidently preceded the settlement 
of Aryan races in Greece. Of this fact evidence survived 
down to historic times. Indeed, this circumstance served to 
shape the destinies of at least one Greek state. The most 

1 Odyss. xiv. 272. " There they slew many of us with the edge of the 
sword, and others they led up with them alive to work for them perforce." 
(BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) The speaker, Odysseus, is inventing this 
narrative, but this circumstance does not invalidate his testimony to the 
laws of war in the age described. 

2 For the significance of arya- see Ch. ii., p. 12. 

3 Cf. Ch. ii., p. 19, n. 2. 

4 Cf. Lassen, Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes, vol. vi., p. 12. 
Max Miiller, Chips from a German Workshop, ii. 187. ' 

The Lace- conspicuous case is Lacedasmon, where an earlier wave of 

daemonian * 

heiots. population was reduced in the first instance, and afterwards 
kept down with a heavy hand. These were the helots, a 
name which, being in all probability derived from e\e/, the 
aorist form of atjoeo>, " take," bears upon its surface evidence 
of its original signification. Afterwards they were in 
emergencies enrolled in the army, 1 and under restrictions 
even admitted to certain civil rights. 3 But their presence in 
Lacedasmon was a constant menace and anxiety to their 
conquerors. Accordingly violent measures were resorted to 
from time to time with a view to keeping them in check. 
Sparta occupied the position of a garrison in a hostile 
country, and this fact lies at the root of its frequent pre- 
cautions against surprise. Its free citizens were drilled and 
trained. Its youth was inured to hardship and suffering 
from the cradle. Nicolas of Damascus, in a few masterly 
strokes, delineates the character of the Spartan constitution, 
and we shall be safe in concluding that many of the institu- 
tions and practices to which he alludes were directed to the 
systematic suppression of the serfs as well as to the gratifica- 
tion of national ambition. Thus, we are informed, that 
"the Lacedaemonians considered it a disgrace to learn any 
arts other than those which would be serviceable in war ; to 
engage in trade was demeaning." Again, " foreigners were 
not allowed to live in Sparta, nor were Spartans allowed to 
travel abroad." The next remark is thoroughly consonant 
with the military character and spirit of the Spartan constitu- 
tion. " They all pride themselves on their submission to 
their magistrates." It may, indeed, be said that Sparta was 
a standing army as much as a state ; and, as if these 
precautions were insufficient, the serf population, when it 
assumed formidable proportions, was thinned by a periodical 
massacre. This was known as the tf/^Trre/a, or secret com- 
mission (from KpvTTTevo), " conceal "), which was conducted 
by the young men, who waylaid and cut off the obnoxious 

1 Thuc. iv. 80. 2 Cf. Miiller, Dorians^ iii. 3. 


serfs. 1 The traditional reason alleged in extenuation of this 
drastic measure was the refusal of the helots to pay to a 
former king the tribute which he had capriciously imposed 
upon them. Its real cause was a dread of their rising. 
Under the same category fall the Thessalian frevea-rai. The 
conquest of Thessaly gave rise to a similar state of things in 
that country also. When the invaders arrived in the north 
of the region that was afterwards known as Greece, they 
found another race in possession, the Perrhsebi and Magne- 
sians. After bringing them under their yoke they gave 
them the name of nevea-rat,, a name which is doubtless 
connected with the Latin penes, " in the power of." 2 They 
formed a link between the freeman and the born slave, and 
their numbers were swelled by the accession of prisoners of 
war. 3 

We pass on to the legal position of the serf. When, as J h n e dition 
we have seen, the conquering population obtained possession of serfs, 
of their new territory, they found it impracticable to reduce 
the whole population to servitude. Accordingly, without 
altering the actual condition of the conquered population, 
they invested it with a legal form, namely, bond-service. 
The bondsmen therefore occupied a different position from 
that of the slave. The relations of master and bondsmen in 
Germany are pertinent here. Tacitus, speaking of the serfs, 
says : 

" Suam quisque sedem, suos penates regit ; frumenti modum dominus 
aut pecoris aut vestis, ut colono injungit et servus'hactenus paret." 4 

The historian makes two points clear. The bondsman 
owed only a limited bond-service, and he possessed a 
household of his own. The same observation held good 

1 Arist. in Plut. Lycurg. 28 ; Heraclid. Pont. 2. 

" Cf. penus, " provisions ": penum^ "the interior of a temple"; and 
penetrare, "to penetrate." Cf. Curtius, Gr. Etym. in verb. 

3 See Arist., Vesp. 1273 '> Xen. Hell. ii. 3, 36 ; vi. I, 11. 

4 Genn. c. 25. " Each has an abode and a house of his own to govern. 
The master levies upon him a contribution of corn or cattle, or clothes, 
as on a farmer, and the serf so far obeys." 


of the serf in ancient Greece and Rome. He was bound 
to the soil (ascriptus glebes] ; he had certain duties to fulfil 
for his master and dues to render, but his earnings belonged 
to himself. We see, therefore, that the master did not 
exercise unlimited sway, but that the serf was protected 
against arbitrary conduct on the part of his owner. 
The slave. N o t so the captive of sword or spear. Unlike the popula-* 
tions of a country whose supervision was a matter of 
o?war the na ^ ona ^ concern and national policy these prisoners passed 
of mdf y * n * *k e possession of the individual conquerors. The pages 
o f Homer abound with descriptions of cities sacked and 
of the scenes that ensued. The following is a typical 
instance : 

Se Si67jy>a0o/x,ei/ T KCU r/yo/x.ev 
/cat TO, p,v v Saorcravro JHCTOL (r< 
< 8' lAov 'ArpetSj/ Xpvcn/t'Sa 

some Both the Latin and Greek languages contain terms for 

slaves. r slave which at once illustrate the capture of slaves on the 

battlefield, and afford an insight into their condition. The 

Greek at^/u-aXwro? thus betrays its origin ; it is obviously 

" the captive of the spear " (al^r), aXcuro? [e\e/]). 

* 'AvSpdiroSov is another term which takes our thoughts to 
the battlefield. The old derivation from dvSpbs and TTOUS 
suggests a pathetic picture, that of the captive crouching at 
the feet of his conqueror, in token of submission and in 
entreaty for his life. But though the picturesqueness of this 
explanation is alluring, the origin of the word is probably 
more prosaic. The root has been also sought in oTr-aSo?, 
" attendant " ; avSpoTra&ov (avSp-OTr-aSov) according to this 
view should be traced to the root meaning " to follow," and 
was changed by a popular etymology to dvSpd,7ro8ov. But the 

1 Iliad i. 366. " We had fared to Thebe, the holy city of Eetion, and 
laid it waste and carried hither all the spoils. So the sons of the 
Achaians divided among them all aright, and for Atreides they set apart 
Chryseis of the fair cheeks." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.) Even 
those of princely blood were not exempted from slavery. Cf. xxi. 34. 


difficulties of this theory are not slight. Altogether, proba- 
bility points in another direction, though admitting that the 
constituent elements are, as in the above-mentioned etymo- 
logies, avrjp y Trow?. We shall doubtless be right in regarding 
di>8pa7roBov as constructed on the analogy of the Sanskrit 
word for slave, dvipada properly " biped.*' } Avpdiroov, 
then, was Trpofia-Tov, 1 or property, which was provided with 
human feet, in contradistinction to cattle. 2 

The word etpepo?, which occurs in the following simile, 
transports us to scenes of carnage and misery : 

s t yvvrj Kag<ri <>iov TTOO-U/ 
"Os re rj<s irpovOev woXios Xawv re ir<ry(Tiv 
"Aorei Kal TKcr<riv afJLvvwv r/yXees ^w-ap' 
*H fiv TOV QvrjvKovra Kal dtnrafpovra iSoOt 
'A.fA,<f> avraJ xyfj,vr] Xi'-ya KCOKVCC* ot 8c r 

Ko7TTOI^T9 SoupCO'O'l /ATa<^)pVOV ^8 Kttl 

Etpepov etcrai/ayovai, TTOVOV r ^JJLV Kal oifcvv' 
TT}S 8' eXeeiyoraTU) a^e'i <j>0wv0ov<rt irapctat. 

The word etpepo? (*serseros) is probably derived from to 
" string," or " fasten together in rows." 4 

But war was not the only means of acquiring slaves. That 2JJJJ. r ei of 
in the times and countries described by Homer a thriving 
traffic in slaves was carried on around the shores of the 
Mediterranean is testified by a number of passages in the 
Iliad and the Odyssey. 

1 7rpo/3aToi', 7rp6f3a<ns (7rpo/3aiVca), " live stock," as opposed to /m/*r}Aui, 
" inanimate property (*cel/zai). See Prellwitz. 

3 Dr. Schrader, Reallex., p. 810, compares the Old High German 
nanahoubit, " menschenhauptiges ( Viek)" 

8 Odyss. viii. 523. "And as a woman throws herself wailing about her 
dear lord, who hath fallen before his city and the host, warding from his 
town and his children the pitiless day ; and she beholds him dying and 
drawing difficult breath, and embracing his body, wails aloud, while the 
foemen behind smite her with spears on back and shoulders, and lead 
her up into bondage, to bear labour and trouble, and her cheeks waste 
with a most pitiful grief, even so pitifully fell the tears beneath the brows 
of Odysseus." (BUTCHER and LANG, transL} 

4 Or perhaps from 'puo>, to " drag off." The Church Slavonic vrlti, 
and the Sanskrit varate, " stopped," " hindered," are doubtless traceable 
to the same source. But see Prellwitz, Worterbuch. 

Sale and The Phoenicians, true to their national character, were the 


earliest to realize the possibilities of the slave trade as a source 
of revenue. At one time it was almost a monopoly of this 
enterprising race, and in the capacity of kidnappers and 
slave traders they often earned for themselves an unenviable 
notoriety. They were the first (so ran the tradition) to gain 
a footing on the African coast, 1 and to establish commercial 
relations with the natives. What opportunities were afforded 
by these expeditions may be gathered from various references 
in Homer and Herodotus. No branch of industry was more 
lucrative than the barter of their commodities for human 
lives, and they experienced no difficulty in obtaining in 
exchange for their Asiatic clothes, weapons or glass, children 
and youths of both sexes for conveyance to their slave-marts. 

But they did not confine their depredations to the 
barbarians of the coasts of the Atlantic. Along the seaboard 
of the Black Sea and Mediterranean, amid the islands of the 
^Egean, they plied their trade, sometimes making descents on 
the defenceless population, but oftener swooping down upon 
unsuspecting individuals. 

The traffic in human lives is recognized in the following 
passage : Odysseus, on his return to Ithaca, conceals his 
identity, and inquires of the swineherd Eumseus his 
history : 

T O TTOTTOI, o>s apa. TVT^OS eu>v, Ev/xaie a"u/3u>Ta, 

IIoAAov aTreTrXay^^s cn)s TrarpiSos rjfte TOKTJWV. 

'AAA' aye fj.oL rdSe eiTre /cat aTjoe/cews 

'He Si7rpa$TO TrroXi? di/Spwv evpvayvta 

*Hi eVt vaieraao-Ke Trarrjp Kal iro-rvia 

*H <re ye fj.ovvw6evTa Trap otecrii/ r) Trapa fiovcrlv 

*Av8/oes Suoyxeve'es vrjva-lv \dj3ov 178' tTrepao-aav 

TovS* dvSpos TTDOS SaitiaT , 6 8 aiov &vov eSwKev.^ 

1 Herod, iv. 42. 

2 Odyss. xv. 381. "Ah, Eumaeus, how far then didst thou wander 
from thine own country and thy parents while as yet thou wast but a 
child ! But come, declare me this and plainly tell it all. Was a wide- 
wayed town of men taken and sacked, wherein dwelt thy father and thy 
lady mother, or did unfriendly men find thee lonely tending sheep or cattle, 
and shipped thee thence, and sold thee into the house of thy master 
here, who paid for thee a goodly price ? "(BUTCHER and LANG, transl,} 


As had been already said in speaking of this same 
Eumaeus, the Phoenicians were notorious kidnappers. 1 That 
the poet is not drawing upon his imagination in depicting 
the methods employed by these professional slave traders 
is apparent from a scene described by Herodotus, though it 
belongs to an era scarcely historical. The historian at the 
beginning of his work is trying to account for the first 
collision and long-standing conflict between the East and 
West, Greek and Barbarian, in which such tremendous 
issues were involved, and in this connection he has a tale to 
tell. 2 

According to the Persian version of the quarrel, the JJj 
Phoenicians were the original authors. The leading state in of Io - 
Hellas at the time when the historical drama opens, was 
Argos. These indefatigable merchants and busy mariners 
landed on the coast of Argos and exposed their merchandise 
for sale. A great number of women, attracted by the foreign 
novelties, came down to the shore, and among them Io, 
the daughter of King Inachus. While the visitors were 
standing at the stern of the vessel and bargaining for what 
took their fancy, the Phoenicians seized Io, together with 
other damsels, hurried them on board and set sail for 
Egypt. " Such is the Persian version," adds the author, 
"but the Phoenicians" (as might be expected) "do not 
agree with them." 3 

Thus, Phoenician and kidnapper were almost synonymous, 
and they introduced what may be called the plantation 
system. But other races imitated their Asiatic rivals 
successfully, and retaliated upon them. The Taphians, a 
tribe of the Leleges, who lived partly on the western coast 
of Acarnania, partly upon the islands, were famous for their 
piracy and for their skill in navigation. These islanders 

1 Ch. v., p. 56. 

2 The historian frequently makes far reaching movements turn upon 
trifling incidents, on the principle enunciated by Aristotle, Pol. v. 3, i, 

CK fJLlKptoV aXX' OlJ TTtpl /ZlKpci)!/ yiVOVTUl Ol (jrd<TflS. 

3 Pausanias thinks this account may be true, ii. 16. 


were no less given to the slave trade. " Out of Sidon I avow 
that I come," says the nurse in the story of Eumaeus : 

'AAAa /x,' 

'AypoOcv p\ofjicvr)v Tre/oacrav 8e //, Sevp' dyayovres 
' dvS/jos Trpos Sw/xa^' 6 8' aioi> wi/oi/ 

prisoners The Taphians do not stand alone, for other Aryan races 
on the seaboard or islands of the Mediterranean were in the 

siave habit of selling their prisoners of war into captivity. His 
booty secured, the slave trader would repair to Sicily, or 
Etruria, where he found ready buyers. At Chios slaves 

The slaves we re bought on a large scale. 2 There are frequent allusions 

medium of to the commodities for which slaves were exchanged. The 


Thracians bartered slaves for salt, 3 others for wine. 4 

The incidental references to the slave trade which we find 
in Homer, where it is taken as a matter of course, point to 
its prevalence. But these instances fade into insignificance 
beside the slave system of a later time. The common 
names for slave in classic Greece and Rome, in the former 
Jao<? and Per?;?, in the later Get a, Lydus, 5 Surus, Cappadox, 
and ^thiops, 6 attest the wide range within which the slave 
traders conducted their nefarious operations. 7 

1 Odyss. xv. 427. " But Taphians, who were sea robbers, laid hands 
on me and snatched me away as I came from the fields, and brought me 
hither and sold me into the house of my master, who paid for me a 
goodly price." (BUTCHER and LANG, transit) 

2 Athenaeus vi. 2656. 

3 Cf. Suidas on aXtavrjrov : of yap QpqKfS avdpanoda aXaiv arrfdidovTo. 

4 Iliad vii. 475. 5 Cf. Cicero, Pro Flacco, 27. Quis unquam Graecus 
comediam scripsit, in qua servus primarum partium non Lydus esset ? 

6 Cf. Martial, vii. 87, 2. 

7 The condition of things in Northern Europe at a later period is 
analogous. The name of the Slav, reduced to bondage by the Germans, 
probably came to be synonymous with slave. This conversion of a 
national into an appellative name appears to have arisen in the eighth 
century in Oriental France. Professor Schrader compares the Anglo- 
Saxon wealh, which meant both Celt and slave. Cf. Ch. iii. p. 31. 



WE have seen that war and piracy were the chief means by other 
which the slave market was supplied. But they were not Iupp C i" ot 
the only sources. In early times insolvency placed the 
debtor at the mercy of his creditor, and there was no Debt, 
indignity, no injury to which he could not be subjected. 
He was sold abroad (trans Tiberim)^ This power rested 
upon the assumption that a man's body possessed a certain 
value in the market. 

Though later in chronological order than the evidence 
afforded by countries like Greece, the early laws of Rome 
furnish us with most instructive instances of the merciless 
application of this principle. The law was inexorable, and 
the creditor could, if he so willed, carry it out with rigour. 
There are grounds for believing that some of the features of 
Roman law which dealt with the relations of creditor and 
debtor are not peculiar, but date from the Aryan period. 
The Aryan debtor must have stood on a par with a male- 
factor. 2 He was publicly pilloried at a stake and exposed, 
tightly bound with ropes, to the public gaze, and left there 
till his relatives or friends redeemed him. There he stood 
bound hand and foot, exposed day and night to all weathers. 
Meanwhile the creditor was at liberty to vent his anger by 
flogging his unfortunate victim. These tortures were applied 
with a view to wringing from him the secret of concealed 
hoards or to working upon the compassion of his friends. 3 

1 Cell. xx. i, 45. 

The Sanskrit rna meant (i) "guilty," "thief" ; (2) "debt," " loan." 
3 Cf. the word /Sao-ai/iorm (translated " tormentors ") in the Parable of 
The Unmerciful Servant, St. Matthew xviii. 34. 


If he did not possess the means of satisfying the claims 
upon him, the exhibition of the culprit in a public place 
might quicken the interest of the public in the case, and 
stimulate his friends to come to his rescue. If they failed 
him, then he was left to his fate. Even death did not end 
his disgrace. 1 The creditor retained possession of the 
corpse. He thus kept in his hands a means of bringing 
pressure to bear upon the relatives of the dead man. He 
might withhold the rites of burial (iusta) which were in- 
dispensable to a passage over the River Styx and admittance 
to the regions of bliss. He might throw him to the 
birds of the air and the beasts of the field a calamity 
which was spoken of with bated breath. The Lex Julia de 
vi publica prohibited the practice of refusing burial. 
? e bTo a rs Such appear to have been the earliest customs in dealing 
Actio in W ^k Debtors. Of this several features survived in Rome, and 
personam. the law did not err on the side of leniency. The laws of the 
Twelve Tables, the earliest code of the Romans, empowered 
the creditor to seize the debtor, and to convey him to his 
home with a view to bringing him to terms. For, as in some 
parts of the East to-day, it is almost a point of honour not 
to pay except under compulsion, so in Rome at that time no 
depth of poverty precluded the possibility, or at least ex- 
cluded the suspicion, that the debtor might possess a secret 
store. Having thus gained possession of the debtor's person, 
the creditor chained him up. He brought him out on three 
market days, and proclaimed the amount of the debt, a 
measure which would ensure the circulation of the news 
among the prisoner's friends. He was also permitted to glut 
his ferocity 2 by lacerating the man in his power. But time 
softened the asperities of the laws regarding debtors ; later 

1 Cf. R. von Ihering, pp. 54, 55. 

2 Tertiis nundinis partis secanto, si plus minusve secuerunt se fraude 
esto. The right to lacerate the debtor in early Roman law is unques- 
tionable. Cf. Kohler, Shakespeare vor dem Forum der Jurisprudenz, 
pp. 19, 20 ; but the custom must have died out early. Dio Cass. 
Fragm. Ed. Gros. i. p. 70 ; Aul. Cell. xx. 


legislators disallowed this severity, and slavery was substi- 
tuted for the above legal tortures. Yet though the physical 
horrors were mitigated, if not removed, the moral stigma 
remained. The theory and practice of Roman law allowed 
the sale of insolvent debtors into bondage. This was not all, 
for since the wife and children, as we have seen, were 
technically the property of the paterfamilias, the right of sale 
extended over them also. 1 

The same phenomenon occurs elsewhere. If we have 
dealt at some length with the Roman law regarding debt, it 
is because in this, as in other departments of thought, the 
Romans retained many primitive practices in their entirety, 
or with slight modification, rather than because these customs 
occupy a unique position in the history of civilization. The 
truth is that traces of some sort lived on among kindred races. 
The same principle, namely, that the person of the debtor 
belonged of right to the creditor is visible in ancient India. India. 
Here, too, the debtor could be put in fetters. Here, too, he 
could be taken away, and immured in the creditor's house. 
The unlucky gambler in the Rigveda 2 bemoans his fate in the 
following lines. He is speaking of the lot of the gambler : 
" He sallies forth with his dice to the spoil. Strange hands 
are laid on his wife. Father, brother, and mother disown 
him, and cry, ' Off with him into bonds.' ' 

So, in like manner, Tacitus relates of the ancient Germany. 
Germans : 

" Aleam exercent tanta lucrandi perdendive temeritate, ut, quum omnia 
defecerunl, extreme ac novissimo jactu de libertate ac de corpore con- 
tendant. Victus voluntariam servitutem adit. Quamvis juvenior, quamvis 
robustior alligari se ac venire patitur." 3 

1 The same principle obtained in the original law of the Hebrews, 
Levit. xxv. 39, 41 ; Exod. xxii. 3. Afterwards the rigour of the law was 
tempered by more merciful provisions. 

' 10, 34. 

3 Germ. c. 24. " They gamble with such unconcern, whether they win 
or lose, that when all has failed, at the last and final throw, they put 
their freedom and persons to the hazard. The beaten player incurs 
voluntary slavery, and, be he ever so young and healthy, allows himself 
to be bound and put up for sale." 


Greece. The oppression of the poor by the rich at Athens in the 
time of Solon often led to the enslavement of the lower 
orders. So deeply were some of them in debt to the rich that 
they were obliged to pay their creditors a sixth part of the 
produce of the land, or else to engage their persons, which 
might be seized on their failure to pay. Some were sold to 
foreigners ; others were forced to sell their children. 1 

The abolition of the practice of enslaving debtors at Athens 
was the work of Solon. This legislator claims to have 
achieved the following results : 

opovs di/eiAov 

opovs di/eiAov TToXXa^rj TTCTnyyoras 
TroAAovs 8' 'A&^as, Trarp/S' eis OOKTLTOV 
dvyyayov irpaOevTa<s, aAAov e/cSi/aos, 
aAAof SiKatws. 2 

The But the custom continued in other Greek states. 3 The 


of slaves, data that we possess relating to the earlier phases of Aryan 
civilization do not enable us to form a very clear conception 
of the condition of slaves in the social structure. Still, we 
are not entirely without evidence, and we are warranted in 
trying to trace the steps by which the position of the slave 
was ameliorated. 

""aTment When slavery first came into existence it is probable that 

1 riSi e ti5e St ^ e ^ e ^ *ke s ^ ave differed but slightly from that of the 

times. masters, and this common life could not fail to humanize the 

relations between bond and free. They lived and worked 

together. The harder work, however, fell to the lot of the 

bondsman, who dug the ground with a primitive hoe or 

dragged a rude plough, consisting of the crooked branch of a 

tree sharpened at the end, 4 and performed the menial services 

which had in yet earlier ages devolved upon the sons and 

daughters. It may be laid down as a general principle that 

1 Plutarch, Solon, C. 1 5, 8avelfiv eVt cra>/iari. 

a Bergk, fr. 36. " I took away many mortgage tablets set up in various 
ways, and brought back to Athens, the country created by the gods, many 
who had been sold, one unjustly, another justly." Cf. Plutarch, Solon, c. 15. 

8 Isocr., Plat. 19. 

4 See Chapter x., p. 121. Cf. Th. Bent, The Cydades, p. 97, and Sir 
C. Fellows, Travels and Researches in Asia Min/or, p. 52. 


the slave was more humanely treated in proportion to the 
primitive character and condition of the race. 

The truth of this statement is borne out at the present 
day. Waitz and Post have adduced abundant evidence, for tribes, 
example, from the interior of Africa to show that the simplest 
Negro tribes treat their slaves well. But the parallels pre- 
sented by races who bear an intimate resemblance and 
relationship to the Greeks and Italians are still more to our 
purpose. Happily, in dealing with them we are able to avail 
ourselves of the testimony of contemporary writers. Of the 
Germans Tacitus speaks in the following words : Germany. 

Dominum ac servum nullis eclucationis deliciis dignoscas : inter eadem 
pecora, in eadem humo degunt, donee aetas separet ingenues, virtus 
agnoscat. 1 

Again we read : 

Verberare servum ac vinculis et opere coercere rarum : occidere solent, 
non disciplina et severitate, sed impetu et ira, ut inimicum, nisi quod 
impune est. 2 

To return to Greece and Italy. The great gulf which ? t aiy" an< 
separated the master from the slave at a later day was as yet 
unknown. Plutarch, speaking of the early age of Italy, 
remarks, 3 " They dealt very mercifully with their domestics 
at that time." The narrowness of the line of demarcation 
between bond and free in the primitive household is attested 
by the constituent elements of some of the terms for slave. 
Of this feature the following furnish interesting illustra- 

Jftco? is probably connected with So/zo*, " house," and 

1 Germ. c. 20. " You could not distinguish master and slave by any 
fastidiousness of their nurture. They live among the same cattle, on the 
same ground, till age distinguishes and bravery determines the superiority 
of the freeborn." 

3 Ibid. c. 25. " They seldom beat a slave and force him with bonds or 
labour. They do kill them, not by rigorous discipline, but on a sudden 
impulse and in a passion, as they would kill an enemy except that the 
assault entails no consequences." Cf. Mauricios, c. 5, quoted by Schrader, 
Reallexikon, 811. Their condition in Old Russia was not very different. 
Cf. W. Thomsen, Ursprung des Russ. Stoats, p. 26. 

3 Coriol, 24. cxptSvro TToXXfl npbs TOVS oiKtras tnitiKfia rorf. Cf. Cato. 
Maj. 21. 


with oZ/eo?, with the meaning " inmate of a 

f e rmsfor family." 1 The explanation of 8ov\o<; which Hesychius 
slaves. offers points to the same idea. He gives olrcta as a gloss upon 
the word. Accordingly this also would appear to have 
denoted " household slave " originally. But it afterwards 
bore the more invidious meaning of born " bondman," and 
was distinguished from avSpdwoSov, a slave taken in war and 
sold into captivity. 2 

sy^oiicai The methods employed to bind or attach the slave to his 

connected mas t e r's house and service were of a symbolical character, 

slaves. an( j a ttest the simplicity of the age during which they 

originated. Among them was the custom of boring the ear. 3 

It was meant as a mark of servitude and a token that the 

slave was now, as it were, fixed to the house. But the 

custom is far from being confined to Italy. The usage 

obtained among the Hebrews, and the sacred text is 

explicit enough upon the point : " His master shall bore his 

ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever." 4 

The strangest of all such ceremonies is the practice of cir- 
cummingere, which was supposed to be an effectual means of 
restraint. This savours of a primitive age, when precautions 
against escape were defective. The authority for the practice 
in Italy is Petronius. 5 " Si circumminxerit ilium, nesciet qua 
fugiat." A passage in Parakara's Grihya Sutra* helps to 
clear up the mystery. The master sprinkled the water in a 
circle round about the slave. He moved to the left, and 
passed three times round. If the slave was a fugitive, a fire 
was kindled, and the god Indra was invoked. Finally an 
incantation was recited, and he was declared free from the 
claims of his relatives. That we have in this curious formula 
a ban is undoubted, It was intended to circumscribe the 

1 Cf. Athenaeus vi., p. 267^ and O. Schrader, Reallex., p. 812. 

2 Cf. Thuc. viii. 28. 

3 Cf. Juvenal, Sat. i. 103 ; Plaut., Poenul. v. ii. 21 ; Petron., Sat. c. 102 
Horace, Ep. i. 10, 41. 

4 Exodus xxi. 6 ; cf. Deut. xv. 17. 5 57, 3- 
6 Translated by Stenzler, iii. 7, i. 



slave. Fetters prevented his working ; freedom offered him 
means of escape. The master, therefore, pronounced over 
him a magic incantation ; and as the slave was transferred by 
the fate of war to a new master, Indra, the god of battles, 
was invoked to set his seal to the proceeding. 

The evidence bearing on the treatment of slaves in early 
Greece is largely derived from Homer. Though the institu- 
tion of slavery is unnatural and abhorrent, inasmuch as it 
violates the sacred rights of man, it loses much of its 
repulsiveness in the descriptions of Homeric society. On 
the whole, apart from the circumstances of their subjection 
or capture, the treatment of slaves was mild. 

The description of the household of Odysseus affords an 
interesting insight into their condition. It may be urged 
that the circumstances were exceptional, that Odysseus's 
absence, Telemachus's minority, and Penelope's forlorn con- 
dition, tended to enhance the influence of the household 
slaves. But granting this, it is clear that the picture pre- 
sented is in harmony with the conditions of society in 
heroic Greece generally. The following passages are 
significant : 

In the first Eumaeus, the swineherd on Odysseus's estate, 
is speaking. He describes how he has been brought up in 
the home of Laertes, his present master's father ; nurtured 
by his mistress, he has never ceased to bear her gratitude, 
and take a lively interest in her fortunes : 

OVVKO. fl' aVTT] Opf\j/V tt/Xtt KTlftO>]7 

ep' i<f>0ifjiy, rrjv OTrXoTaTrjv TfKf Trat'Stov 
OJJ.OV Tpc<f>6fJLriv, oXiyov Be n p rj<7<rov eri/xa. 1 

Those days are gone. His foster-sister was sent to Same, 
and earned a goodly bride-price. Eumaeus was sent to work 

1 Odyss. xv. 363, " for that she herself had reared me along with long- 
robed Ctimene, her noble daughter, the youngest of her children. With 
her I was reared, and she honoured me little less than her own."- 
(BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) Cf. xviii. 322, where Penelope is said to 
have reared and entreated Melantho as her own child, and given her 
playthings to her heart's desire. 


in the fields ; l yet still he was well clothed, and prospered, 
and his mistress " loved him with an increasing love." But 
now all is changed. The lady is dead, worn out with grief 
for her long lost son. The house has fallen upon evil 
days : 

/ue'ya Bk Sjiiooes ^areovcriv 

'Ai/Tta Sc<nroti'i?s <a<r#ai /cat CKaora 7nj0eo-0at 
Kai <f>ayfjLev Tnepev re, lirciTa 8e /cat TL ^cpecr^at 
'A-ypoj/8*, ota re 6v(j.ov act S/x.<oeo-<rtv tatvei. 2 

But the companion picture, which points the deep shadows 
of the domestic life of the time, is dark and terrible. It 
describes the doom of the faithless servants. Unaware of the 
presence of their returned master they have revealed them- 
selves in their true colours. Penelope proves to have nursed 
a viper in her bosom ; Melantho, the petted fosterling, has 
abetted the suitors for her mistress's hand, who have wasted 
the substance of the family. Melanthius, the goatherd, has 
poured insult upon the unknown guest. But the avenger 
is at hand. 3 The maid-servants who have played false in 
consorting with the wooers and ministering to their pleasures 
are all hanged together in a row, and the goatherd, mutilated 
and disembowelled, dies a " pitiful death." 

On the other hand the faithful followers of the fortunes of 
Odysseus are treated with deference. Odysseus addresses 
the good nurse in familiar terms, and she reciprocates his 
affection. 4 This familiarity on the part of the employer was 
not abused nor his confidence misplaced. Trusted servants 
identify themselves with their masters' interests, mourn over 
their misfortunes, sympathize with their struggles and rejoice 
at their prosperity. 5 Granting, therefore, that the poet has 

1 Cf. Odyss. xviii. 338, 342, where the life of a 6f)s, or serf, is described. 

2 Odyss. xv. 376-9. " Yet thralls have a great desire to speak before 
their mistress and find out all, and eat and drink, and moreover to carry 
off somewhat with them to the field, such things as ever comfort the 
heart of a thrall." ( BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) 

3 xxii. 468-477. 

4 Odyss. xxii. 480-487. Cf. the use of /MM, Odyss. xvii. 499 ; arra, 599 
and xxi. 369. 

6 Cf. Odyss. xx. 192, 211 ; xiv. 524 ; xvii. 318 ; xv. 465. 


in some measure idealized the relations between master and 
slave, yet after making all due allowances, we cannot doubt 
that the lot of the slave in the Homeric household was much 

The same cannot be said of Italy, at any rate in the times {*J| ece and 
of which most memorials have survived. But the evidence compared, 
which exists concerning the earliest periods of which we 
obtain glimpses is not to the disadvantage of the Roman 
proprietor. The principle that the slave was destitute of 
legal rights has been already dwelt upon. It obtained in 
Greece, but alleviations of the slave's condition were intro- 
duced early both in practice and legislation, such as the 
recognition of a marriage between slaves as a legal relation, 
and the prohibition against inflicting the death penalty 
without the sanction of the law. The case was otherwise in 
Rome. There the principle was maintained with rigour. 
Still, what was said above respecting the milder conditions 
of the slave in the ages of primitive simplicity is not without 
its bearing upon the Roman slave system. In the absence The 


of documentary evidence language furnishes some clues. jj n 

The word famulus, as has already been seen, falls under Famulus 
the same category as S/ia><?, OHCCTI??, and SoOXo?. The root 
is probably dha t " make," " place," which also appears in 
the Oscan faawa, " house." Famulus ', then, denotes one 
belonging to the household, familia y the members in a 
collective capacity. 

The more precise relations between the slave and his %f" ter 
master are designated by magister, and its counterpart Mister, 
minister. These are comparative forms, and signify respec- 
tively no more than social superiority and inferiority. 

But other words suggest sterner and more sinister asso- $*. 
ciations. Such is the common word servus, which connoted 
the loss of freedom. The ancient authorities referred it to 
the Latin servare, " keep," * as if it indicated those whose 
lives were spared, but this theory is open to serious 

1 So St. Augustine and Justinian, Inst. i, 3, 3. 


objection. Others see in it the idea of safeguarding. 1 They 
would then make servus the object of protection, " client," 
" protege." Others associate it with a series of words con- 
taining the notion of heaviness, the Lithuanian svaras, " a 
weight," and the modern German schwer, " heavy." The 
probability is, however, that we have here the Latin 
equivalent of the Greek el'pepo?. 2 Throughout the series of 
words with which these are connected runs the idea of 
binding, fettering, which is perfectly in keeping with the 
nature of early warfare. 

Erus. Such too is the word erus, which denotes the position of 

the head of the household in his relation to his servants. 3 
The word is doubtless derived from a root connected with 
the Sanskrit hardmi, "seize," karanam, "hand," and the 
Greek %<=//>, " hand." This solution is borne out by several 
passages in the classical authors. Underneath the relations 
between the erus and the servus lies the idea of force. Cicero 
in his treatise containing counsel to his son, says : 

" iis qui vi oppresses imperio coercent, sit sane adhibenda saevitia, ut 
eris in famulos, si aliter teneri non possunt." 4 

The Slave life had its brighter aspects. It may be observed 

sid! of r that those slaves fared worst who had been taken in war. 5 

slave life. , , r 

The position of the home-born slave, verna (from a root vas, to 
dwell, which appears also in the Sanskrit vdstu, " house"), 
generally the offspring of slaves, 6 leaves on the mind an 
impression far from disagreeable. Like his Greek counter- 
part, as in the case of Eumseus, the verna was often brought 
up with his master's children. In later days, as the pages 
of the Latin poets testify, the vernulce (a diminutive and 

1 See Vanicek on the root sar. 2 See p. 241. 

3 Erum atque servom salvere, Plautus, Trin. 2, 4, 34. 

4 De Officiis ii. 7, 24. " It may be necessary for those who keep men 
under subjection by force to employ severity, like masters over slaves, if 
they cannot otherwise be constrained." 

5 Cf. Rep. i, 41- 

5 Such a union was called contubernium, not matrimonium. The 
Greek equivalent for verna was 


familiar form) were often objects of favour, if not of affection. 1 
They became acquainted with all the household management, 3 
and often took liberties with their masters. 3 

Further, the slaves were allowed to acquire property of Pecuitum. 
their own. The technical term for possessions so obtained 
was peculium. The reader will remember that this belongs 
to a class of words which illustrate the transition from kind 
to money. Peculium denoted, therefore, in the first instance, 
property in cattle. The legal principle, indeed, was that 
whatever was acquired through the slave was acquired for the 
master (quodcunque per servum acquiritur id domino acquiritur), 
but the law was evaded. The slave might stint himself, and 
set aside something out of his daily allowance, 4 or he might 
be fortunate enough to light upon a hidden treasure. With 
his savings or treasure trove he might eventually purchase his 
freedom. But such relaxations of the legal principle that the 
master owned his slave, and that he had power over life and 
limb, such familiar intercourse between master and man, 5 
were survivals of a primitive age, in which the whole family 
lived together in rude homes, and fed together on rustic fare 
the age of a Camillus and a Cincinnatus. A disastrous 
change ensued, which was fraught with far-reaching con- 
sequences at once to the slave and to the state, and indirectly 
hastened the downfall of Rome. This reaction was the A reaction, 
result of economic changes following on the rapid increase in 
the Roman dominions. The decline of agriculture, owing 
to neglect of farms during the continual campaigns ; the 
attractions of town life ; the drain upon the blood of the 
peasantry, who formed the mainstay of Republican Rome, 
lay at the root of the evil. 

1 The word verna often occurs in tombstones. Orelli, Inscr. 2808, 
2809, 2810. 

2 Horace, Ep. ii. 26. 3 Ibid., Sat. ii. 6, 66 ; Tibullus, i. 5, 26. 

4 Seneca, Ep. 80, "peculium suum, quod comparaverunt ventre fraudato, 
pro capite numerant." Cf. Terence, Phorm. i. 1,9. 

5 Slaves in Plautus (e.g. Miles Gloriosus, 180) called their master and 
mistresses familiarly by their names. There was no more respectful 
form of address. 

The . , The results were calamitous to the commonwealth at large ; 

creation of 

peasant proprietorship decayed, large landed estates (lati- 
fundid) were created, and these proved the ruin of Italy. 1 
The obligations of the master towards his servant were 
forgotten. No longer the fellow-worker of some hardy 
farmer or peasant, the slave was left to the tender mercies of 
a villicus, or bailiff. Gangs of these slaves were herded in 
the fields during the day, and were housed in barracoons 
(ergastula^) by night. There, exasperated by the hardships 
which they endured, they hatched plots, fomented sedition, 
and sallied forth in bands to rob and pillage the inhabitants 
of the district. The seething discontent came to a head at 
a later period when the slaves attempted to throw off the 
yoke, and raised the standard of rebellion, but only for a 
time ; they were put down with a heavy hand. Under the 
changed conditions, when the master's manner of life so 
sadly degenerated from the simplicity of the earliest ages of 
Rome, domestic life deteriorated also, and the slaves suffered 
proportionately. The plentifulness of slaves after successful 
campaigns they were a drug in the market brought other 
evils in its train. The household of a wealthy plebeian 
numbered an army of menials. The cheapness of a slave's 
life created an indifference to its intrinsic human value. This 
natural contempt for this class of human beings was aggra- 
vated by the inevitable separation of master and slave. His 
master was too remote to take due account of their hardships 
or to remember that the slave was a fellow man. 
of h siaves t8 ^ ne fM wm g extracts from the works of standard writers 
on the treatment of slaves speak for themselves. 

Cato, an authority esteemed second to none, expatiates 

upon the economical management of them. He prescribes 
the following mixture for their winter consumption : Put 
into a cask 10 amphora* of sweet wine, 2 amphora of sour 

1 Latifundia perdidere Italiam : jam vero et provincias. Plin., Hist. 
Nat. xviii. 7. 
- Columella, I, 6, 3 ; 8, 16. 3 An amphora was 6 gallons 7 pints, 


vinegar, and as much wine boiled down by two-thirds. Add 
50 amphorae of pure water. Turn with a stick three times a 
day for five consecutive days. Then add 64 amphorce of 
stale salt and water. 

But these rude methods of providing for their wants 
dwindle into insignificance by the side of the barbarous 
punishments to which slaves were sometimes subjected. Of 
these it is not necessary to speak at any length, for they are 
well known and calculated to awaken the most painful 
emotions. Slaves were obliged to submit to the branding- Branding, 
iron a significant custom which betrays the sentiments 
entertained concerning slavery, and is eloquent of the con- 
dition of these unfortunate beings. Their masters saw no 
intrinsic value in humanity. Like cattle they were " animate 
property." l Like cattle the master's mark was burnt into 
their foreheads or scalps. But in later days the punishment 
was reserved for runaway slaves, and the term for the victim 
of the process, a-ny/mrta?, became synonymous with " branded 
culprit." Of this cruel usage and its associations we still 
possess a survival in the English words " marked " and 
" branded." The equuleus, a wooden machine on which JJJSJJ' 
slaves were put to sit in order to extract evidence in a court 
of law (quaestio) was one of the instruments of torture reserved 
for them. 2 The/urea was frequently employed. It consisted . 
of a piece of timber or yoke in the form of a V, placed on the 
neck, while the hands were tied to the thighs. 8 

These punishments were often inflicted from mere caprice inflicted 

from mere 

and for trivial misdemeanours. The story is well-known of caprice, 
the dreadful death from which Augustus saved a slave, who 
accidentally broke a vase at an entertainment. Fashionable 
ladies distinguished themselves by their caprices and cruelty 
towards these ministers to their wants or pleasures. A 
pedisequus, or page, incurs his mistress's displeasure, and he 

1 KTTipa. TI efjL-^vxov, Arist., Pol. \ . iv. 2. 

3 Lit. "the colt." Cicero, Mil. 21; Quint. Curt. vi. 10. It was 
probably like the Italian // cavaletto, "the colt." < . - 

3 On these terms see Rich, Diet, of Roman and Greek Antiquities. 



is beaten and torn. A tiring-maid gives offence and she is 
pricked with needles. 1 But these examples by no means 
exhaust the list. Sometimes slaves were mutilated, 3 or 
thrown into the vivaria to be devoured by wild beasts, who 
were preserved in these enclosures. Sometimes they were 
even cast among the murcencz, or lampreys. 3 The hateful 
orgies of blood celebrated in the amphitheatres, known as 
the gladiatorial combats, were largely furnished by the slave 
class. In short, nothing that ingenuity could devise was 
wanting to punish the offending slave. As in life so in 
death. The slave was not allowed a peaceful exit from 
earth. When he became too old or decrepit to work he 
might be cast out to die on the island of ^sculapius. If a 
slave in a fit of exasperation at years of tyranny and wrong 
fell upon his master the fate of the rest of thefamilia was 
sealed. The law enacted that in such a case all should be 
put to death. But after treatment of this kind the owner 
had every reason to dread the vengeance of the down-trodden 
slaves. The master moved in fear of his life, and instances 
are recorded of retaliation which stopped short at no 
indignity and no refinement of torture. 4 

This dark picture is relieved by some brighter features, 
varro on Varro, 5 treating of farming operations, quotes with approval 
X a baViiff, the dictum of an earlier writer, Cassius, to the effect that 
" slaves should not be too timid nor too high-spirited." He 
proceeds : " It is advisable not to bring together many of 
the same race, as tending to breaches of domestic discipline 
or cause disturbance. But the bailiff must not be allowed a 
free hand. He must try persuasion before resorting to 
punishment. He must encourage his underlings, set gangers 
over them, and permit them to acquire property, and to 
marry." But it is clear from the abundant evidence afforded 
by the pages of Martial and Juvenal that the degradation 

1 Ovid, Am. i. 14, 13 Martial ii. 66 ; Juvenal vi. 491, and his 

protest, vi. 218. 2 Plaut. Epid. i, i, n. 

3 Seneca, De ira, 1 1 1, 40. Cf. Horace, Epist. i, 16, 47 ; Juvenal v. 216. 

4 Cf- PJiny, Ep. Hi. 14. 3 De Re Rustica i. 17. 


and demoralization of the slave class was one of the darkest 
features of the early Empire, the most corrupt age in the 
annals of Rome. 1 Such was the condition of these pariahs 
of civilization when, as part of the " glad tidings of great 
joy," liberty to the captive and the removal of the barrier 
between bond and free was announced to toilers on an 
eastern plain. 

We now take leave of the slave, and with him of the 
family. The wider organizations evolved out of the household 
next claim our attention. 2 

1 The Emperor Hadrian acquired a reputation by relieving the slave 
class. Under his rule a law was passed forbidding the masters to kill 
their slaves, and enacting that they should be tried by the laws provided 
against capital offences. 

2 The reader will see, in view of the general argument advanced in 
this inquiry, that the writer is far from denying the existence of forces 
preparing or paving the way for the redemption of the slave class before 
the foundation of the Christian Church. Unquestionably such move- 
ments, consciously or unconsciously, made for freedom. It may not 
be doubted that political causes co-operated in this result. The con- 
solidation of the Roman empire, which broke down the barriers between 
man and man, and established equality of rights among Roman citizens, 
tended in the same direction. Of all the intellectual agencies at work 
Stoicism was the most powerful. The first century of our era especially 
witnessed such a revolt on the part of refined thinkers against outrages 
of humanity, and a revival of primitive simplicity, in accordance with the 
maxim of this school of thought TTJ (fivo-ei 6/zoXo-yoi//ieVo)y rjv. All this 
redounded to the benefit of the slave. Thus, Seneca is said to have 
followed the primitive practice of taking meals with his slaves. But 
surely those writers who, in their endeavour to minimise the influence of 
Christianity, magnify the influence of the fashionable philosophies of the 
day, have formed an exaggerated estimate of the power that such 
agencies wielded. To the lasting honour of Stoicism it did what it could 
to remedy the evil, but the evil remained. The truth is, this school 
only appealed to an aristocracy of intellect, and even to the Stoics the 
enterprise of Christian teachers, who taught and enforced a universal 
brotherhood, would have appeared too vast and visionary. At best they 
only heralded the coming of a brighter day. But the Christian Church, 
by the introduction of new ideals of humanity and sympathy, shed its 
consolations, extended its protection over serf and slave, and gradually 
effected a complete revolution of public opinion. Not that the Author 
of Christianity swept away the gigantic evils incidental to the slave 
system at one stroke. Rather, He Himself, in the Sermon on the 
Mount, and Christian teachers after Him, like St. Paul in the Epistle 
to Philemon, addressed themselves to the work of reform by preaching 
principles which, working silently and slowly in the conscience of 
mankind, were destined in due time to effect the final abolition of the 
slave system. 




THE principle of a separation of the bond from the free in- 
volves the question of the growth of the ideas of liberty, and 
such a social distinction is widespread. But the assertion made 
by Jacob Grimm, 1 to the effect that all men are divided into 
bond and free must be received with some qualification. It 
is true that the most degraded tribes, such as African 
negroes, are found in possession of a system of slavery by 
which those who are captured in war, when not eaten, are 
enslaved; but the statement seems too sweeping. The 
author's remark certainly does not apply to the primitive 
stages in the evolution of Aryan society. That no state of 
slavery properly so called existed in the Homeric period is 
clear, 2 and that it was not practised in all parts of Greece 
in historic times is attested by more than one Greek author. 
The It is open to doubt whether the undivided Aryans recog- 

Aryan 1 s ed nized any definite distinctions into classes. The evidence is 
knew no of a negative character. From the absence of common 
ofciasses? terms denoting differences of the kind in the languages of the 
Absence of Aryan races we may argue against their existence at that 
sfo p nl s ~ time. It will generally be found that the expressions 

common to . , . . . 

theAryans. employed to indicate distinctions of rank appear to have 
been borrowed from neighbouring races. Again, the terms 
are of a vague description. Primarily used to convey some 
other meaning, they are gradually adapted to meet the new 

1 Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, p. 226. 

8 Cf. E. Curtius, History of Greece i., p. 238. 


requirements. It has been pointed out that in the earliest 
stages of the Aryan languages no definite distinction is 
drawn even between rich and poor. 1 Accordingly it is not 
surprising to find considerable variation in the practice of the 
Aryan races, revealing an essential or partial difference 
between them. 2 

From what has been said above it will be seen that the 
origin of classes, so far as the Aryans are concerned, properly 
falls within the early stages of national growth. But while 
we bear in mind the facts mentioned in the foregoing pages, 
it may yet be possible to trace at an earlier epoch the germs 
of future developments. 

The poets Hesiod and Vergil, as we have already seen, 3 e c r si ? 1 < ? s ar 
have pictured a golden age in which equality prevailed. No ^ *| M en 
doubt these descriptions contain elements of truth. Evidence 
in support of the existence of this ancient equality comes 
from more than one quarter. Among the illustrations that 
might be cited -for we confine ourselves here to those 
whose history sheds light on Greece and Italy the Armenians Armenia, 
presented to view such a state of things at one time. A 
modern traveller 4 speaks of them in the following terms : 
" The political state of Armenia is essentially democratic. 
In that country there is no perceptible distinction or 
opposition of classes and conditions." 5 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex.^ p. 803. 

1 Germany affords an illustration in point. There, according to the 
statement of Tacitus (Germ. c. 25), the population were distinguished 
into nobiles, ingenui and servi; the liberti did not form the chief 
constituent of the people, but were half free, half vassals (kncchte). 
Russia presents to view another system of division. Only two classes 
existed, the Bojars and princely Thiunen on the one hand and those who 
devoted themselves to war, trade and agriculture on the other. Karamsin, 
Geschichte des Russ. Reichs, Riga, 18301833, ii., p. 37. But these 
classes again admit of further subdivision. 

3 Ch. i., p. 3. 

4 See von Haxthausen, Transkaukasia, Leipzig, 1858, English 
trans M i., p. 211. 

8 The author returns to the subject in the following passage (p. 212) : 
" The class of Armenian nobles to which I have alluded enjoyed high 
distinction and honour, accorded to them by national custom, but were 
in no other way raised above the rest of the people ; in contracting 
marriages, for instance, none of the ordinary prejudices of rank prevailed. ' 


The siavs. The case of the Slavs is most pertinent here. For various 
reasons, as has been said in a former page, 1 the development 
of the Slavs was retarded. But their very backwardness is 
particularly instructive, since they have retained many of the 
old prejudices of the earliest times, when the ancestors of 
Slav, Greek; and Italian lived together. It is significant, 
therefore, to discover that in Slav countries a real nobility 
never succeeded in forming itself, one which, together with 
wealth and culture, would command consideration in public 
affairs. Like Poland, Russia has not, and never had, an 
aristocracy in the Western sense 2 of the term. This state- 
ment receives striking confirmation from a circumstance 
which has been pointed out by Professor Schrader, 3 namely, 
that the terms that are in use among the Slavs to express 
distinctions of aristocratic rank are borrowed. The remark 
Aryans ma y be extended to include the Aryans in general. 4 We may 
equal! 1 * 1 therefore be justified in assuming that all Aryans were 
theoretically free and equal, but notwithstanding the 
theoretical freedom and equality, social distinctions began 
to appear as time' went on. The rudimentary stages of 
a class system are distinguishable even in the constitu- 
tion of the Aryan family. For while, as we have already 
noticed, the head of the household possessed power over 
all its members, a broad line separated the children from 
slaves. 5 The children had rights of their own, though 
those rights might be in abeyance. This is proved by 
the fact that when the master of the household died the 
sons obtained on their own account the same rights 
over the women, children, and property as had hitherto 
been exercised by the father, but his death effected no 
change in the position of the slave. The recognition 
of this distinction is expressed in the word liberi, which 

1 Ch. iii., p. 29. 

2 Fr. von Hellwald, Die Welt der Slaven, p. 176, quoted by Schrader 
Reallex.^ p. 804. Cf. V. Hehn, De Moribus Ruthenorum, p. 152. 

3 Reallex., p. 804. 4 Cf. Mommsen, Roman History i. 77. 
5 Mommsen i., p. 63. 


signifies both " freemen " and " children " in opposition 
to serviy " slaves." 

The creation "of class distinctions received an impulse ? fl e ucnce 
from another side. It has been stated already, in speaking 
upon the subject of women, that the improvement in their 
position was the result of a general movement in the direc- 
tion of liberty, which was not confined to their sex. The 
same cause contributed doubtless to the separation of class 
from class. For while the rights of the sons and, in a lesser 
degree, of the wife were gradually asserted with increasing 
intensity, social differences became accentuated and the gulf 
between the freeborn and the slave was widened. The way 
had now been paved for a further severance. The question 
of social distinctions furnishes a fresh point in the parallelism 
which exists between the early Greek and Italian. They 
both followed the same line of development in the main, but, 
as an offset to the elementary resemblance between their 
general features stand the differences of detail. 

The Homeric poems are invaluable for the light that they Gre?c e e. ic 
throw upon the growth of social strata. We see reflected in 
them a state of society in which distinctions of rank have 
become stereotyped, and we may conclude that they are the 
outcome of several successive phases of development. Not 
only is a clear distinction drawn between the slave and the 
freeman, but another class, the nobility, has sprung into 
being. Of this class we shall have occasion to speak later. 

Under the category of freemen, c^evdepoi, 1 other than 

1 The word e'Aev&pos appears to have passed through similar stages. 
Formerly it used to be derived from napa. TO eXfvdciv onov cpa, that is, 
" one who is free to go where he pleases." But this etymology is vitiated 
among other reasons by the circumstance that it perverts the strict 
meaning of cXtvdetv from " come " to " go." Other derivations have been 
suggested, but their plausibility is not a warrant for their truth. Dr. 
Schrader carries conviction to our minds when he connects cAeu&pos with 
liber, and considers it to have been applied, like liber, to a subject 
population. That the term in Homer bears the meaning of "free," in 
contradistinction to " bond," is clear from such phrases as c'Xcv&pov q/iap, 
"day of freedom," Iliad, vi. 455, in opposition to dov\iov ^iap, "day of 
bondage,'' vi. 463. 


nobles, are included those who possess the right of citizen- 
ship, of fair trial, of bearing arms and attending the general 
assembly (ajopd.) To them is applied the title Sij^ou dvSpes. 
Sometimes they are styled d/cX.'rjpoi, and in one 1 passage 
they are described in a periphrasis as ot? /-tr; /3/oTo? TTO\V$ eirj, 
"those who have not much subsistence." Though they 
were powerful from sheer force of numbers, and in theory 
possessed a voice in determining public affairs, in reality 
they occupied a subordinate position. 

Next in order of importance followed those who did not 
possess the citizenship but enjoyed the privileges of freedom. 
Such were the ^eravdo-rai, namely, naturalized settlers. 3 
That their position was not altogether enviable would 
rf iv hts appear from the Iliad? where fjLeravdcrTTjs is a term of 
reproach : 

Ilai/Ta rt JAOL Kara 6vfJiov cctcrao /Av0?y(rao'0ai* 
'AAAa /ADI oi8ai/Tai Kpaftir) X^^J OTTTTOT 
Mvijo-o/xat, <Ss p a(TVfj)r)\ov tv 'Apyciowrtv 
s a>9 i riv 

From the epithet arL^ro^ we may conclude that the 
wrongs of these aliens could not be redressed at law. At all 
events, the speaker resents as an affront such treatment as 
might be meted out to one of this class of men. 

There remains leaving out of sight for the present the 
slave and noble the class called flrjre?, who, possessing 
neither landed property nor mechanical skill nor profes- 
sional knowledge, worked for hire. But little superior as 
regards social station to the slave, 5 the lot of the #779 was a 

1 Odyss. xi. 489. 2 Lit., one who has changed his home. 

3 ix. 644. " Thou seemest to speak all this almost after mine own 
mind ; but my heart swelleth with wrath as oft as I bethink me of those 
things, how Atreides entreated me arrogantly among the Argives, as 
though I were some worthless sojourner." (LANG, LEAF, and MYERS 
transL] The word arl^ros occurs also in xvi. 58. Cf. Herodotus 
vii. 161. In like manner the Scottish land-louper was used in an 
invidious sense. 

4 Their position seems to have resembled that of the ^TOIKOL or resident 
aliens of the historic period, who were called voOoi TroXIrm. 

5 They are classified together in Odvss. iv. 644. 


hard one. When Odysseus visits the abode of the dead he 
meets the ghost of the departed ; and as he addresses words 
of consolation to the shade of Achilles, that great soul 
replies that he would fain exchange his present position for 
that of a thrall on earth : 

M.rj 8rj fjLOL Odvarov y irapavBa, 

t Trap aK\rjp<.o, w /MI) jSioros TroAvs elrj, 
H Troitriv veKV(rcri 

From the standpoint of an inquirer into the growth 
civilization much interest attaches to another class who are 
mentioned by Homer. These are the fypioepyoL Their 
name indicates the nature of their occupation. They were 
craftsmen working for the public benefit, applying them- 
selves to industrial pursuits or technical trades, or peaceful 
professions, not so much for themselves as for the com- 
munity. 2 The following lines illustrate the comprehensive- 
ness of the term : 

LV -Y) trjrrjpa KUKWV, rj TCKTOVCL 8ovp<av, 

Vf Kttt 

But this classification is not exhaustive. 

1 Odyss. xi. 488. " Nay speak not comfortably to me of death, oh great 
Odysseus. Rather would I live on ground as the hireling of another, with 
a landless man who had no great livelihood, than bear sway among the 
dead that be departed." (BUTCHER and LANG transl.} The translators 
differ from most commentators, who take endpovpos to mean " bound to 
the soil." 

2 No trace of a caste system can be found in Greece similar to that 
which controls the Brahmanic religion in India. Cf. Limberg Brouwer, 
Hist, de la Civilisation en Gr&ce, Groningen, 1833-42, pp. 266, 272, 273. 
Caste is rank with rigid lines of demarcation. But see Tiele, Geschiedenis 
van den Godsdienst, 1875; Kern, Ind. Theorieen over de Standenver- 
deelingj Muir, Sanskrit Texts ii., p. 454 ; and Senart in Revue des deux 
mondes, t. 121, 122, 125. The last-mentioned writer argues convincingly 
that the caste evolved itself out of the family. The discrimination of 
rank by colour appears to have prevailed among an un-Aryan race. 
A. Vdmbdry, Primitive Cultur des Turkotatarischen Volkes, Leipzig, 
1879, furnishes instances of the terms among these wild tribes of the 
steppe : kara songek, " schwarzbeinig," "volk"; ok songek, "weissbeinig," 
"adel." The whole of the subject is peculiarly interesting. See 
pp. 131, 132 of the work quoted. 

3 Odyss. xvii. 383, " a seer or a healer of ills, or a shipwright, or even 
an inspired minstrel, who can delight with his song." 


The 8rjij,ioepryoi were not all of native origin, but a distinc- 
tion was drawn between those who were native-born and 
those who were invited from outside. 1 The former class 
included some of the highest born. Such was Eunomos, 
the seer, who led the Mysians to Troy. 2 Such was Eumedes, 
the Trojan herald. He was a wealthy landowner, and his 
son a noble (apto-To?). 3 But, as a rule, they would be 
attached to a lower order, %ep??es in opposition to ayaOoi. 
Not that this implied any social degradation or humiliation. 
The Srjinioepyos was a freeman, 4 but so far were the crafts 
and trades from suggesting to the popular mind anything 
invidious or demeaning, that the artisan then was really 
held in higher esteem than now. 5 The truth is that 
manual labour was not regarded as debasing. Men of high 
rank might ply the hoe or drive the plough without in any 
way forfeiting public esteem. Even princes and kings thought 
it not incompatible with their dignity to engage in profit- 
able occupations, and readily acknowledged their capacity 
for performing menial service. Accordingly, Odysseus, 
far from disdaining his capacity for menial service, boasts 

Spr/orocrw^ OVK dv p,oi epioxretc /Jporos aXXos 
Trvp T* v vrjfjcrai, Sia re v\a Sava Kacr<rai, 
SaiTpcOam TC KOL oTrnJcrcu KCU olvo^orjaraC 
old TC rots d-yaOoio-L TrapaSpwaxn 

1 Cf. A. Riedenauer, Handwerk und Handwerker in den homerischen 
Zeiten, p. 18. 2 Iliad 'ii. 858. 3 Ibid. x. 229, 314. 

4 Cf. Riedenauer, p. 35 ; and Drumann, DieArbeiter und Communisten 
in Griechenland und Rom, Konigsberg, 1860, p. 6. 

5 The Romans thought agriculture and military service the only em- 
ployments worthy of freeborn men. A prejudice existed against trades on 
the ground of their being illiberal (Cf. @dvav<ros). Cicero, De Officiis i. 42, 
makes out that the trades and professions are unbecoming a gentleman. 
This feeling was doubtless due in a great measure to the plentifulness of 
slave labour. Not only were slaves almost exclusively employed for 
menial occupations, but as they were more ingenious and more skilful 
than their masters, the professions as a rule passed into their hands. 
Juvenal in a well-known passage, iii. 76, discourses upon the versatility of 
the Greek character. Cf. Drumann, Die Arbeiter und Communisten in 
Griechenland und Rom. 

6 Odyss. xv. 321. "No mortal may vie with me in the business 
of a serving-man, in piling well a fire, in cleaving dry faggots, and in 
carving and roasting flesh, and in pouring of wine, those offices wherein 
meaner men serve their betters." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) 


In another passage Odysseus naively confesses, as an 
excuse for his prolonged absence, that he has journeyed to 
foreign lands to amass wealth ; "so truly was Odysseus 
skilled in gainful arts above all men upon earth, nor might 
any mortal men contend with him." l 

It was stated above, that beside the native Brj^Loepyoi, 
another class came by invitation from another community. 2 
Under the protection of Zei><; Eei/to? and the patronage of 
those who had invited them, the members of this class were 
treated as gevoi, (" strangers "), and pursued their avocations 

The rise of a nobility in Greece next demands our atten- 
tion. We have seen already that in all probability no social 
distinctions obtained among the Aryans before their disper- 
sion. The Slavs preserved this primitive state of things 
down to a late period, as indeed they have retained many 
characteristics of the social conditions that prevailed in the 
earliest epochs of civilization. But when we turn to 
Homeric Greece, we are met by the fact that the people 
has long ceased to be a confused mass, and is distributed 
into classes marked off from one another by perfectly fixed 
and definite distinctions. The nobility are entitled apiaroi, 
or d/no-TTje?, are ef o^oi avSpes, and tower above the rest of the 

Throughout Homeric society ran a broad line of demar- 
cation, into dyaQot and x^P^^y but the distinction did not 
suggest in itself any moral inferiority or any invidious 
connotation, 3 for the gods also were divided into higher and 
lower orders. 

But in process of time a sharper distinction arose. It will 
now be our purpose to trace the cause of their rise and the 

1 Cf. Hesiod, Works and Days, p. 311 : 
fpyov ' ovdiv ovetftos, depyir) 8e r' 

el 8e Kfv fpyafaji rti^a (re frjAaxrfi dfpyos 
ir\ovTcvvra' TrXovra) 6' dpfrrj /ecu Kvdos O7n/8ft. 

2 K\r)Toi, Odyss. xvii. 382, 386. 

3 Cf. Bucholz, Die homerischen Realien, i., (i), p. 28. 


course f tne i r development. The nobility owed their 
ascendency in no small measure to personal service. While, 
as we have already seen, all Aryans were theoretically free 
and equal, in reality differences did then, as they always 
will, assert themselves differences in physical qualities, in 
mental endowment, and energy of character. And certain 
conditions of life more than others tend to bring them into 
play. They are the outcome of a sustained conflict with 
the elements, with difficulties arising from the prevalence 
of invasion and from a general social fermentation. The 
circumstances in which the early Aryans lived were 
especially calculated to elicit and foster the highest qualities 
which were inherent in the race. No department of thought 
or action in early society offered so many opportunities 
for evoking and developing latent capacity as war, and 
personal service under arms has in all ages contributed in 
no small measure to the creation of a noble class. Service 
as horsemen especially established a claim to consideration. 
It was the avenue of admission to the nobility. There is 
perhaps no extravagance in detecting in the epithet iVzroTa, 
which is applied by Homer to heroes, a survival of the pre- 
eminence or the prominence conferred on a warrior by the 
fact that he fought from a chariot. 

Birth. But another practice was gaining ground which tended 

to strengthen the hands of the noble class, namely, the 
growing habit of restricting the choice of heads of tribes to 
certain families. To this method Persia presented an 
historical parallel. There, as Herodotus states, 1 the kings 
were chosen from the (f>piJTprj, or brotherhood, of the Achse- 
menidae, namely, the descendants of Achaemenes (Hakha- 
manish), 3 and this in its turn belonged to the principal 
Persian tribe, the Pasargadae. From this custom gradually 
arose the idea of a " family," as connoting the idea of 

. 125. 

His name appears in the Behistun Inscription twice. See Rawlinson 
in loc. In all the Inscriptions the Kings of Persia glory in the title. 


descent from ancestors whose prestige or exploits had 
impressed the popular imagination, and lived in the public 
memory. Hence the epithet of evyei/T??, in the sense of 
nobly born, came into being. Hence sprang families like 
the Eupatridae, who figured so prominently in early Athenian 
history. 1 

The transition from the qualification of birth to that of wealth, 
property is easy. For it stands to reason that in the 
estimation of dependents money tended to enhance the value 
of birth and to augment the power of those who were 
fortunate enough to possess it. Accordingly in India, 2 as in 
Greece, wealth formed a powerful recommendation in the 
sight of the commonalty. 

Of this we possess proofs in language and literature. In 
Homer the nobles are styled 7ro\vK\rjpot, avOpcoTroi, "men of Homer, 
rich inheritance " (lit. " of many lots "), in contrast to the 
afcXypoi,, " men of no inheritance," who, while enjoying 
personal freedom, were not well to do in the world. Thus, 
in all the tribes who appear in Homer ancient royal houses 
play a prominent part. They appear accustomed to wield 
authority, they receive without contradiction the gifts of 
honour and the homage of the public. 

The advantages accruing from social station supported by 
affluence were strengthened by other accessory means, and 
these powerful families neglected no means of increasing 
their influence. The nobility were the first to enjoy all the 

1 The analogy of the Armenians is in point here. The traveller who 
has already been cited (Haxthausen, Transkauskasia, p. 211, 212) in a 
former page, states (he has been speaking of the social equality) : 
" There are a small number of ancient families of distinction named 
Tarschan (literally ' free man '), who are exempt from taxation : a few 
of these, like tHe Abovians, are hereditary heads of their respective 
villages, which may not improbably have been originally founded by their 
ancestors." Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 815. 

* " The primary view of chieftainship is evidently that it springs from 
purity or dignity of blood, but noble birth is regarded as naturally 
associated with wealth, and he who becomes rich gradually climbs to a 
position indistinguishable from that which he would have occupied if he 
had been nobly born." Maine, The Early History of Institutions, 
London, 1893, P- I3 6 - Dr. Schrader also quotes the Sanskrit kshatrd-, 
which signifies (i) " possession,'' (2) " lordship " and " lords." 


benefits of advancing civilization, all that wealth could 
procure, all that ingenuity could devise ; and they were not 
slow to turn their superior advantages to the best account, 
in order to aggrandize themselves or to maintain their 
ascendency over the anonymous multitude. By adopting 
a different dress, by using superior weapons, they distin- 
guished themselves from the common herd. Mythology 
was pressed into the service, and made to lend lustre to 
the ancestral title. Many of the families claimed descent 
from the immortals. The art of poetry obsequiously 
offered its aid to embellish the story, and to invest the 
subjects of the tale with a halo of sanctity. 

itaiy. Turning to Italy we are met at the outset by one impor- 

tant difference between it and Greece in the circumstances 
of the settlement of the Aryans in each of the two 
peninsulas. It is a matter of history that Italy is singularly 
poor in memorials of the primitive period, and presents 
in this respect a remarkable contrast to other fields of 
civilization. 1 A long succession of phases of political 
development must have intervened between the constitutions 
which the poems of Homer and the Germania of Tacitus 
delineate, and the oldest organization of the Roman com- 
munity. But, for all that, we are not left without evidence 
of the gradual growth of class distinctions in Italy. 

The fact that the Aryans who settled in Italy had no 
conquered populations of much moment to deal with, 
assumes first-rate importance in this connection. It 
accounts for one of the striking peculiarities and influential 
factors of the Latin nation, namely, the complete equality 
of rights that prevailed. The truth is, in this matter they 
did but carry on the tradition of earlier ages, when as has 
been observed before, all members of the Aryan community 
stood on a footing of equality. Unlike their neighbours, the 
un-Aryan Etrurians, whose form of government was based 
on a rigid aristocracy, administered by an hereditary race or 

1 Mommsen, i. 8, 85. 


caste of priestly nobility, the Latins steadily maintained an 
equality of rights, but these rights were not extended to 

The word liber, " free," is interesting at once to the Liber. 
sociologist and philologist. When resolved into its primary *J s molo 
elements, its root is seen to be *loibro, with which may be 
compared the old Latin loebertatem} Allusion has already * ts JjJ* 
been made to the meaning it acquired in the Roman house- R""^" 
hold, where the children were distinguished from the slaves law * 
by the name of liberi. The earliest evidence of its applica- 
tion in a political sense is to be found in one of the laws of 
the time of Numa, an era scarcely historical. 2 The following 
is the enactment in which it occurs : 

Si qui hominem libentm dolo sciens morti duit paricidas esto : 3 

Throughout the earlier history of Rome one principle between 1 
stands out prominently, namely, the sharp contrast that aUd g non e - s 
existed between those who enjoyed and those who did not bur ^ esses - 
enjoy political rights. Indeed, no people has ever equalled 
the Romans in the inexorable rigour with which they carried 
out this principle. 

The name by which those who enjoyed political rights The 
were known was populus. Several derivations of the word com-' 
have been offered. On the one hand, Vanicek sees in it the 
root /#/, suggesting the idea of fulness. Under the same 
category comes, according to this view, the Latin plebes, the 
" commons " ; plenus, " full " ; and the Greek 7r\?70o9, 
" multitude ; " ir//wrXi;/, " fill." * But another explanation is 

1 Schrader, Reallex., p. 808, cites the Oscan luvfvreis, "free," and 
lovfrikonoss, " freeborn," and the Faliscan loferta. 
- Festus, p. 221, M tiller. 

3 " The man who slays a freeman with malice aforethought, let him be 
an unnatural murderer." 

4 If this view be adopted, populus will present a parallel to the German 
volk and the Slavonic polk, pluk. The words in a Turko-Tataric dialect, 
-z7, " people," and ilki, " flock," " troop " (connected as they are with */, 
" to bind "), and also in another dialect, butun, " people " (connected with 
butun, " whole," u united ") contain a similar conception. See Vdmbery, 
Die Primitive Cultur des Turkotatar. Volkes^ Leipzig, 1879, p. 131. 


admissible. That the word populus was applied to the people 
under arms appears probable from the phrase, magister 
populi, " dictator," and populari, to " ravage " or " lay waste." 
Accordingly Dr. Schrader looks for the origin of the term in 
an obsolete *qoqlo, which would be equated with the Sanskrit 
cakra,, and bear the sense of a wheel-shaped military forma- 
tion. The last explanation, which is in itself plausible, 
derives additional colour from the following fact. Every 
burgess was in time pf need a soldier. He alone had the 
right and duty of bearing arms, nor at first could anyone 
enjoy an office in the city who had not served in the ranks. 
Hence in the old hymn or litany of the Salii the blessings of 
Mars, the god of war, are asked for the pilumnus populus^ 
Hence, too, the term popularly to "lay waste," which would 
primarily signify to " spread or pour out in a multitude over 
a region." Afterwards it was transferred to the result of 
these operations. 

DC- So far the free burgesses have occupied our attention. 

But side by side with these grew up a class of clients. They 
were composed of the dependents upon the several burgess 
households, representing a middle stage between the freeman 
and the slave. Their position is reflected in the names 
by which they were known. Usually the term cliens was 
applied to them. It indicated "hearer" or "listener." 3 
The other name given to them, plebes? or the " multitude," 
was applied negatively with reference to their want of 
political rights. 4 Occupying an intermediate position between 
the bondman and the free, they included in their ranks 
refugees who had placed themselves under a foreign protector 
or patronus, and slaves who had been practically released 

1 Pzlumnce ppplce. Festus, p. 205. Miiller, explains fotumnus velut 
'tilis uti assueti) and his explanation carries conviction with it. 

2 The older form was cluens, clearly indicating the origin from clueo 
"hear" (root km} ; hence "obedient," "dependent." 

3 Doubtless connected with 7rXr?0o?, irXrjprjs, and kindred Latin words. 
See the observations on the word -populus above, p. 271. 

4 Habuitplebem in clientele* principium descriptam^ Cicero, De Rep. ii. 2. 


from the dominium of their master. 1 Yet their patron 
possessed supreme power over them. According to the 
original law he was allowed to resume the property of the 
client, or even to reduce him to slavery. But time effected 
a change in their position, which it is not necessary to trace 
out in the particulars. The strongly-marked line, though 
never obliterated, was yet modified to the advantage of the 

Such was the general spirit of the Roman constitution. Nobility. 
Although the Romans, with as much foresight as magnanimity, 
opened their gates wide for intercourse with other lands, the 
fundamental conceptions on which the Roman common- 
wealth was based consisted of absolute equality within the 
limits of the burgess community, combined with an absolute 
barrier against those outside the pale. The absence of 
privileges of rank in the early Roman community is indicated 
by the dress worn by all alike. With the exception of a 
badge to distinguish the president of the community from its 
members, the senator from the citizen, the adult who was 
liable to service in the army from the boy who was not yet 
capable of enrolment, nobles as well as the poor wore in 
public only the toga, a " covering " 2 (such is the original - 
sense of the word) which was made of simple woollen stuff. 

But in spite of the theoretical absence of social distinctions, 
as in Greece, so also at Rome certain families surely, if 
slowly, acquired power, and ended by securing a monopoly of 
the offices of state. We are naturally led to inquire by what 
steps they justified these pretensions, and arrogated to them- 
selves the title. Their ascendency cannot be ascribed to one f JJJJJ. ag . 
source only ; various causes doubtless conspired to throw tendency, 
power into their hands, and some of these were adventitious 
advantages totally unconnected with personal merit. Un- 
questionably among the co-operating causes were the claims 
of birth. So much is implied in the term patres and patricii. Birth - 

1 Patronus, \\kepatricius, by itself denotes simply the full burgess. 

2 Tego, " cover." 


It is a matter of history that the community of the Roman 
people arose out of the junction (in whatever way brought 
about) of ancient clanships ; the Roman domain comprised 
the lands that formerly belonged to all these clans which 
formed integral parts of the political community (civitas, 
populus). Everyone who belonged to one of these clans was 
a burgess. Every marriage celebrated within this circle, 
according to the orthodox forms, was recognized as a 
true Roman marriage, and conferred burgess rights on the 
issue of these unions. On the other hand, the offspring of 
an unrecognized form of marriage, or a child born out of 
wedlock, was excluded from the membership of the com- 
munity. Here lay the origin of the terms patres andflatrzcit; 
the former denoted the "fathers," the latter the "fathers' 
children." Whatever may have been the proximate causes 
of the transference of this appellation, which was originally 
a title of every member of the community, to certain Roman 
families, so much seems clear, that one of the reasons for 
advancing such pretensions by which power was centred in a 
few hands was their claim to a lofty lineage. 

Military But this was not the only ground. Never was there a 
time in the history of Rome when war was not practised 
either to secure her position or to gratify her ambition, nor 
a time when warlike pursuits were not popular. This 
circumstance penetrated every detail of Roman life and 
Roman institutions. A military career offered the widest 
scope for energy and capacity ; personal service in arms, 
therefore, threw open a wider field to the ambitious than any 
other calling. Every burgess, as we have seen, enjoyed the 
privilege of bearing arms ; indeed, it was the most important 
function that he could perform. But at Rome as in 
Bohemia, 1 Poland, and Silesia, at a later day, 2 the burgess 
cavalry attracted the best armed and the best trained men 
among the fighting population. The original purpose for 

1 A. H. Post, Die Anfange, p. 150. 

2 J. Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, p. 226. 


which they were intended was to engage in single combat in 
front of the line. It was an elite, or reserve, rather than a 
special arm of the service. Accordingly, being composed 
of the best-equipped citizens it was naturally held in higher 
estimation than the burgess foot-soldiers, and was corre- 
spondingly popular. The preference for the cavalry arm 
among the aristocracy continued to the end, and is attested 
in an interesting way by the accounts of the battle of 
Pharsalia, 48 B.C. Pompey possessed a strong force of 
horsemen. Seeing this, Caesar commanded his legions to 
keep their javelins in their hands on the approach of the 
enemy's horse, and to thrust them full in the faces of the 
cavaliers. The latter, being composed of the younger part 
of the Roman nobility, and priding themselves on their 
looks and personal appearance, dreaded a scar in the face 
more than a wound in the body. The stratagem had the 
desired result. The cavalry pressed on confident of victory, 
but at the first shock their only endeavour was to protect 
their faces, and a total rout ensued. Though any patrician 
could obtain admission to the cavalry, certain privileges 
gradually gathered around this force, and were turned to 
account by the noble families with good effect for the 
purpose of aggrandizing themselves. Wealth lent its aid. 
It enabled them to eclipse others in their style of equipment, 
whether weapons, horses, or general accoutrements. The 
honours of war were consequently appropriated by those of 
noble or gentle parentage. 

The number of clients, which also depended largely upon Number ot 
the affluence of the patron, contributed to the same end, by 

_ , influence. 

lending lustre to the patronus. Many were the ways in 
which the grandee could forward the interests of his client. 
He shielded his dependents, acting as their advocate in 
courts of law, and counsellor in their private affairs. 
Further, he attached them to his person by means of liberal 
largesses. The sportula, or basket, in which the client carried 
away his allowance, was a familiar feature of Roman society, 
and grew to be a serious evil in the degenerate days of the 


Republic. Under the early Empire the clientes, including 
now men of high social station whom their luxury or vices 
had reduced to poverty, preferred paying assiduous court to 
a haughty magnate and a lazy dependence on the daily dole 
to honourable employment. The pages of Horace, Tacitus, 
Persius, and Juvenal afford ample testimony to the extent to 
which this practice was carried, to the abuses to which it 
gave rise, and to the grotesque accompaniments of a 
salutatio, or morning levee, which might be held by some 
powerful patron. But certain duties devolved upon the 
recipient of these favours. Nor was the client slow or 
backward in reciprocating the interest or promoting the 
welfare of his patron. He paid the magnate to whom he 
owed allegiance all imaginable deference, and, if occasion 
required, assisted him with money to meet extraordinary 
charges. More commonly his duties consisted in escorting 
his patron to business in the forum (deducere) or attending 
him there upon his candidature for public office. 1 Altogether 
the possession of a numerous connection of dependents 
(clientela), was no mean instrument in the hands of an 
ambitious scion of a patrician family. 

other But a long train of dependents was only one of the devices 

e^hTncfng with which the nobility strove to aggrandize themselves. By 
influence, an ostentatious display of pomp and elegance, by the lofti- 
ness of their chariots, by the adoption of bronze, marble, or 
gilded statues to perpetuate their memory, and the assump- 
tion of long, sonorous appellations, they worked successfully 
upon the imaginations of the populace, and arrogated to 
themselves a power which in the earlier ages of Rome had 
been reserved for merit. 

1 This method of canvassing was called ambire* "going round,'' i.e., 
interviewing individually those who had interest. The aspirant for public 
honours wore a white toga (candida toga), whence the term candidatus 
and our candidate. 




THE family, as we have seen in a previous page, was J s h * h f * mily 
the earliest of the social organisms and the most primitive 
human associations belonging to an obscure and unrecorded 
past. But it was also the germ-cell of early society. By 
the comprehension of several generations, and the inclusion 
of strangers, in the position of slaves or in some other 
relation, it expanded into yet wider social circles. Ultimately 
it became the basis of the state, as regards its constituent 
elements and its form. Out of the family, therefore, in 
Greece and Italy arose a great groundwork of principles on 
which rested the whole fabric of social life, and this circum- 
stance must be kept steadily in view, if we wish to under- 
stand the evolution of a Hellenic state or the Roman 
Commonwealth. It will be our purpose in this chapter to 
trace the gradual process by which the family unfolded and 
developed into these more comprehensive organizations. 

Throughout the whole course of the development of the Kinship 
social structure both in Greece and Italy runs the principle gjjjj*^ 
of relationship. If we were right in concluding that the union - 
method of reckoning relationship in primitive Greece and *f2Jj_ 
Italy in normal circumstances was agnatic, i.e. was traced Jj^fa 
through the father's side, we may go on to apply the same 
test to the wider organism, the clan and the tribe. This is tribe ' 
the axiom on which we shall proceed, and it will be seen 
that the results fit in with the premises. 


Their But the ties of blood were not the only ones that bound 

IspSt al the members of clan and tribe together. We shall see that 
these unions assumed a political significance as well, and in 
process of time, certainly in the case of one of these organiza- 
tions, the Greek ^parpla, the political aspect dwarfed the 
conception of relationship. The latter idea in consequence 
receded into the background, and occupied a subordinate 
position. We shall have occasion by-and-by to return to 
Religion as this subject. Meanwhile, it is to be observed that a third 
tie. bond of union existed, namely, the community of worship 

and religious traditions shared by all alike. 

variety of The analogical argument which has proved useful in 
Aryan" " 2 previous portions of this inquiry is of less avail in discussing 
this particular point. For the experiences and methods of 
European races akin to Greek and Roman, whose testimony 
has been sought again and again in these pages, exhibited 
so wide a diversity that the evidence they afford may 
be more confusing than illuminating. Underneath this 
variety may be discerned the original elements with which 
they all started on their national careers, but they sub- 
sequently followed different directions and widely diverged. 
The history of the Germanic communities, which have in 
other parts of our subject presented some instructive 
analogies, afford an instance in point. Unlike the Greek and 
Roman organizations, they did not begin with elective 

The Slavs But an exception must be made in favour of the Slavs for 

tion. xcep " the reason which has been frequently noticed in these pages, 

that their very unprogressiveness in the past is instructive in 

an investigation of this kind. Throughout their early history 

they signalized themselves but little by their contributions to 

Their human progress. Left behind l on the steppes of Northern 

stan"Ts" Europe, or in the mountainous regions further south, ac- 

character. quiescing in the ideals of existence which satisfied the 

previous occupants of their territory, assimilating themselves 

} See Ch. iii., p. 29. 


to the habits of their predecessors, they could hardly fail to 
lag behind in the march of civilization. Under these 
unfavourable conditions it was but natural that from time to 
time they should fall victims to tyranny. For as the spirit 
of despotism possesses those who are by birth or breeding 
fitted to tyrannize, so the natural temperament of others 
disposes them to obey. But external circumstances con- 
tributed to the backwardness of the Slav. The nature of his 
surroundings operated in that direction. Mental cultivation 
is best acquired in temperate regions. Science, literature, 
and art refuse to flourish in frost and snow. To this must 
be added the fact already adverted to, that the Slav never 
enjoyed opportunities of interchanging ideas with the 
versatile and artistic genius of the Southerner. The con- 
sequence is that, until lately, the Slav has for long periods 
been nationally lost to the world. Eventually the qualities 
which have lain dormant so long have been awakened into 
activity, and he has emerged into civilization bearing the 
stamp of his peculiar characteristics. 1 The nineteenth 
century saw the Slavs, after long ages of silence, at length 
claiming a place among the nations of the Western World. 
The Slavs, then, help us to understand the first formation 
of European society, for to this day they have remained 
stationary at this early stage of development. We see 
among them the rude beginnings of Aryan society preserved 
in their primitive simplicity. We see the rudimentary 
processes by which these germs gradually developed among 
progressive races, and in course of time assumed a high 
import, social, economical, military, and religious. Accord- 
ingly they afford us invaluable data for inferences in regard 
to Greece and Italy. 

The social organization of the Slavonic races embraces The social 
three groups. Of these the zadruga is the earliest and of the 10 ' 
simplest. It is a house-community or house comradeship, 

1 See K. P. Pobyedonostsev, Reflections of a Russian Statesman, 1898, 
and O. Novikoff in the Eclectic Review, vol. 49, p. 451. 


m ~ 


one g reat family of relations. Such unions still survive 

munft? m ~ among the Slavs of the hill countries, like Herzegovina 
and Crinagora. 1 These races have taken refuge in the 
mountainous or hilly regions, and there they have adhered to 
their primitive organization, uninfluenced by the progressive 
ideals of those races which have been drawn into the current 
of European progress. 

The next group in the ascending scale of development is 

hood! er ~ tne bratstvo or brotherhood. 3 Upon this organization Ratzel 
remarks 3 : " It comprises several generations of descendants 
from one progenitor, and their wives, in a community of 
goods and labour under one head, who need not always be 
the eldest." They have common property rights, uphold 
common traditions, and cherish common memories. Ac- 
cordingly the bratstvo holds an intermediate place in the 

T rtr/be""' social development between the family and the tribe. Ulti- 
mately the preceding organizations in the social evolution of 
the Slav are merged in the wider circle of the tribe or pleme. 

Traces of Such, in brief, are the salient features of the civilization of 

the same 

some branches of the Slavonic races at this day, and doubt- 
less they were once in vogue among other races. Elsewhere, 
however, they have been modified or obliterated in a large 
measure, yet not so completely as to efface entirely the 
recollection of them. Faint traces of the same constitution 
are visible among the ancient Germans and Celts. They are 
found also in India, in the region of the Caucasus, among the 
Cabyles of Africa, and even other races of Oceania. 4 The 
?t2y? e and Creek and Italic races conform to the same law which 
marked the early Slav communities. They, too, exhibit the 
threefold principle of development ; they are evolved along 
the same lines, and pursue the same direction with differences 
in detail. 

1 Cf. Krauss, Sitte und Branch der Sudslaven, Wien, 1885, and 
Haxthausen, The Russian Empire, ch. vi. 

2 From the Old Slavonic bratu, " brother." 

3 P. 122. Cf. Krauss, Sitte und Brauch, p. 32. 

4 Ratzel, ibid., p. 123, 127. 


The first step in the expansion from the Greek and Italian Thc ^^ 
family was the formation of the 761/09 in Greece, and the gens and *"* J 
in Italy a combination of families in a larger aggregate. 
The primary idea underlying these words is that of blood 
relationship. Unquestionably they are derived from the 
root gan, connoting common birth or descent. But the proof 
of the presence in these terms of the idea of consanguinity 
does not rest on their derivation alone. We shall content 
ourselves with pointing out two of its features which 
corroborate this statement. Unlike the <f>parpia, which will 
arise for consideration later, the yevvtjrai and gentiles, i.e. 
members of the 7^0? and gens respectively, 1 never lost sight 
of the original significance of these bodies as associations of 
kindred by blood. Priding themselves on their descent Descent 
from a common ancestor, they revered his memory, and common 
adopted his name as a patronymic. This was expressed in 

Greece by the termination -/o^? or -idSt^. Such a title was 
borne by the Alcmaeonidae, a renowned family at Athens. 
Originally a branch of the Neleidae of Pylos, in the Pelo- 
ponnese, and claiming descent from Alcmaeon, a great 
grandson of the Homeric hero Nestor, 2 the Alcmaeonidae 
figured prominently in Greek history for a period extending 
from 1 100 to 400 B.C. The Talthybiadae afford another 
illustration of descent from some hero of myth or romance. 
Talthybius is known to readers of Homer as the herald of 
Agamemnon at the siege of Troy. He was worshipped as a 
hero at Sparta and Argos. To him the Talthybiadae traced 
their lineage. So, in like manner, well-known gentes in Italy 
plumed themselves on their descent from the heroes of 
history or legendary lore, who had performed deeds of valour 
or otherwise shed lustre upon the name of Rome. Such was 

1 Under the same category fall the Sanskrit ganus, " family " ; ganita,, 
" father " ; gatis, " birth/' " race " ; Greek, ytyvo/aat, " become " ; yeWo-ty, 
" origin " ; yvrjaios, " legitimate," " genuine " ; Latin, gigno, " produce " ; 
gener, "son-in-law"; natura, "nature"; Gothic kuni, "family"; Old 
High German chind^ "offspring " ; chnuat, " nature." 

3 Paus. ii. 1 8, 97. 


the gens ^Emilia. This clan dated its origin from the reign 
of King Numa, and took its name after Mamercus, who 
gained the surname ^Emilius for his persuasive powers of 
speech (St* al^.v\iav \6yov). The son of the Greek philosopher 
Pythagoras so ran the legend he founded thegens ^Smilia, 
which subsequently numbered among its constituent families 
renowned names like Paullus, Regillus, and Scaurus. But 
whatever truth may lie in these traditions and admittedly 
they are enveloped in considerable obscurity it is almost 
certain that this gens was of Sabine origin. 1 Such, too, was 
the gens Ccelia, which affords another instance of the fusion 
of racial elements at the foundation of Rome, but was less 
illustrious than the former. This clan ascribed its origin to 
an Etruscan, Caeles Vibenna. He lived in the time of the 
Roman kings, but none of the members of this clan dis- 
tinguished themselves till late in the history of Republican 
Rome. Only two family names appear in it, Caldus and 
Rums. 3 
com- The connection between the members of the clan already 

tnunity ol J 

property, united by blood was still further cemented by the joint 
possession of property. So much appears from a provision 
made in the laws of the Twelve Tables for succession in the 
absence of relatives. Si adgnatus nee escit, gentiles familiam 

Divine But there were more powerful ties still in the possession ot 

sanction. a common religion. Not only did the clansmen forming the 
7evo? and gens boast of their descent from some mythical 
personage, but the clans themselves were invested with 
hallowed associations, and summoned up sacred memories to 
the mind. It has been seen that the members of a Slavonic 
bratstvo possess in common certain rights of worship and of 
burial. In like manner the Greek and Roman clans 

1 Festus derives Mamercus from Mamers, the Sabine name for Mars, 
the war-god. 

2 See Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography. 

" If there be no next of kin (on the father's side) the clansmen shall 
have the family property." 


worshipped at common centres, placed their clan under the 
tutelage of some god or goddess, and buried their dead in the 
same sepulchres. This gradual expansion is attested by the 
application of the old names to the altered conditions. Such 
is Vesta, of which we have already spoken. Such is Penates, 
or "household gods." 1 Under the title penates publici or 
maiores (" common " or " greater gods ") they were worshipped 
as protecting deities of the community at large. 

Moreover, as the hearth was necessary to the life of a sacred 
household, and the absence of a hearth (afeeruo?) was almost 
synonymous with outlawry (a0e/ucrro<?), 2 so the clan possessed 
a central and common hearth, a symbol of their unity. 
Each Ktofju), or village, according to Thucydides, owned its 
hearth. 3 Such, doubtless, was the primitive conception of a J 
clan an association of kinsmen, who looked up to a common 
ancestor, and maintained a common worship. But, in 
course of time, with the extension of the bounds of the 
community, and the absorption of other groups, it became 
necessary to reorganize society, and consequently other 
combinations were substituted for the ties of blood, or super- 
added to them. No longer a mere union of kinsmen, the 
clan, whether 761/09 or gens, assumed a political significance. 
We are led on, therefore, to inquire into the duties devolving common 
upon the clans in a collective capacity, and the purposes for 
which they took common action in the body politic. 

The most urgent need for co-operation on the part of the war. 
members of the clan was occasioned by a summons to arms. 
That in such emergencies the 761/09 and gens proved a 
serviceable basis for organization on the battlefield might be 
premised in the absence of testimony to that effect, but as a 
matter of fact, there is ample evidence of the custom of 

'Root pd, "nourish," "feed"; pater, "breadwinner," "father"; 
penum, " provision," and pants, " bread " ; penitus, " in the larder," 
" inside." Cicero, De n.d. 2, 27, 68. 

See Iliad, ix. 63. 

3 Cf. H. E. Seebohm, The Structure of Greek Tribal Society, p. 3. 


adopting the method in military array. 1 This system does 
not require any abstruse explanation. It rests upon the 
assumption that in this stage of social sentiment those who 
are connected by blood will be animated by the same 
principles, and make more strenuous exertions when righting 
in the ranks side by side. 

Italy. As regards Italy, we find on record an historical event 

which proves that clans fought together for a common cause 
and incidentally affords an insight into the numbers of a 
gens and the religious aspect of these associations. It was 
during the war with Veii that the Fabian gens immortalized 
themselves. To the number of 306 they sallied forth from 
Rome and entrenched themselves near the little river Cremera, 
with the intention of keeping the Veientines in check. So, 
making the fortified camp the basis of their operations, they 
ravaged the enemy's territory. At last they were all decoyed 
into an ambuscade, and put to the sword. The only survivor 
of the catastrophe was a boy left behind at Rome. This 
happened in the year 477 B.C. The Ides (isth) of February 
were in consequence held sacred by the Fabii, and celebrated 
with solemn sacrifice on the Quirinal to the patron gods. of 
the gens. 

tiSnsin*' Tke 761/05 and gens, however, did not confine their 

peace / activities to times of war ; occasions arose in time of peace 
which called for common counsel. The deliberations of the 

A^ajpubiic members were held in a public centre. Such consultations 
and places of assembly were not peculiar to Greece and 

India. Italy. India affords a parallel. The Indians were in the 
habit of meeting in a central building, and the rules by which 
clan conferences were conducted are particularly interesting, 
inasmuch as they throw light upon the corresponding Greek 

Ir h meethf g - and Italian institutions. 2 The members of the clan 3 met 

place> together in the Sabhd. Under the presidency of a gramanl, 

1 The analogy of India is in point here. See Zimmer, Altind. Leben 
p. 161. 

2 Zimmer, Altind. Leben, p. 171. 3 Ibid. 


that is, leader or chief, they discussed matters of public 
concern, whether relating to peace or war. So much stress 
was laid on these debates that a capacity for taking part in 
them was held to be one of the chief requisites In the head of 
a household. He must, in other words, be a sabheya. 

The parallel between India and Greece and Italy does not re common 
end there. We have already seen that there are reasons for 
thinking that the gens and 761/05 were evolved from the 
family, and a comparison of the regulations relating to fire in 
India, Greece, and Italy affords further corroboration of the 
statement. In all three, as we have had occasion to observe, 1 
a fire was inseparable from a household. It was at once 
hearth and altar. It was the repository of family traditions. 
Moreover, in these three countries a common fireplace, 
where the eternal flame was kept up without intermission, 
formed the central point where the clan members gathered 
in consultation, and around which the historical traditions 
and associations of all the members clustered. In fact, a 
belief in a common origin of this custom and in a similar 
development of the public from the private or domestic 
hearth rests upon a firm foundation. 

Such meeting-places in which the clansmen congregated, Amuse- 
known in Greece by the name of Xe'o^cu, were not exclusively 
devoted to discussion on affairs of public moment. Pausanias, 
speaking of the Delphic club-room, alludes to the lighter 
side of public life : 

fvravOa o-wtovres TO ap^alov rd T o-TrovSaiorepa <$uA.eyoro /ecu OTroVa 

But the ordinary frequenters of the Xeo-^ would appear to 
have degenerated from the high purpose for which these 
buildings were originally erected, and in course of time 

1 Ch. xvi. 201, xxi. 285. 

3 x. 25, i. " Here they used formerly to come together and talk over 
both mythological and more serious subjects." Similarly the Indian sabha 
was a place of amusement as well as consultation. Throwing the dice 
was a popular game. Zimmer, Altind. Leben, p. 172. 


became the common lounge and place of resort for 
idlers and beggars. So much is implied in the following 
passage from Homer : 

Heu/e rdXav, arv yi ri<s 

'He TTOV es Xecr^rjv, aAA' fv6a.Se iroAA' a 

The extension of the meaning of Aeo-^7; points in the same 
direction. 2 It acquires the meaning of "gossip," and the 
derivatives Aeo-^z/euetz/, "to chat," e'AAecr^o?, " the common 
talk of the clubs," 3 aSoAeo-^T??, " a chatterbox," also attest the 
uses to which these public places were turned. 

The methods of government of the 761/09 and gens require a 

Sent"" brief explanation. The recognition of a ruler or head by the 

The head mem b ers is proved by the existence of words which possess 

of the dan an element in common, namely, *vik-poti (Sanskrit, viqpati, 

and Avestan, vispaiti-}. Formed on the analogy of *dems- 

poti, " houselord," in which we recognize the original of the 

Greek Seo-Tnmy?, 4 it affords further testimony to the evolution 

of t\\e gens and 761/0? from thefamitta and ot/co?. Traces of 

the existence of such a leader appear in Rome also. 

His power Yet it would appear that but little power resided in his 

limited. h an( j S4 The basis of the gens was republican. The leader, 

then, was only first among equals. He could not administer 

justice alone, and representatives of the clansmen were 

associated with him for that purpose. When a clansman 

was charged with a grave offence his fellows sat in judgment 

upon his case, and, if they found him guilty, expelled him 

from their ranks. 

The ^ So much for the internal organization of the clan. Under 

Conti uit *kis head mention may be made of the external aspects of 
consar c ^ an ^ e * ^^ e v ^ a & e community is typical of this stage of 

guinity. - - _ 

1 Odyss. xviii. 328. " Wretched guest, surely thou art some brain-sick 
man, seeing that thou dost not choose to go and sleep at a smithy, or at 
some place of common resort, but here thou pratest much." Cf. Hesiod, 
Works and Days, 491-499. 

2 So in the well-known elegy on Heraclitus, rjXtov 

3 Herod, i. 153. Cf. TrfpiAfo-x^evros ii. 135. 

4 Mommsen, Romisches Staatsrecht^ iii. i, 17. 


development, and practically village and clan are co- extensive 
in Greece and Italy. Of their close connection direct and 
indirect evidence exists in language and history, which 
combine in establishing the fact that cognate families were 
also contiguous. We begin with Italy. The ordinary Latin Ital y- 
term for " kinsman," affinis, bears upon its surface the tokens 
of its origin. It is clearly composed of the words ad, " at," 
and finis, " border." Primarily, therefore, it denoted 
" adjacent." l Village life was doubtless more common in 
Italy than the extant examples appear to warrant. The 
pile-dwellings in the region of the Po have already been 
described. The probability is that they were exceptional 
structures, and that the expedient was resorted to for the 
sake of safety ; other villages, erected on dry land, doubtless 
studded the surface of the country, but not being constructed 
of durable material, they are lost to view and buried in 
oblivion. Yet the burial-grounds which have been un- 
earthed in different parts of the peninsula point to the 
existence of villages in their neighbourhood. 

This point will become still more clear, and the argument Greece 
more convincing, if it turns out that a similar phenomenon 
presents itself in Greece. Such actually proves to be the 
case. Many villages in Greece betrayed their origin by the 
formation of their names. They retained the patronymic 
termination. The Lakiadai and Semachidai were of this 
number. But as regards Greece, still stronger testimony is 
available. The political philosopher's dictum is well known : 

rj 8 K TrXetovcuv oixuov KOU coi'iu Trpwn; ^p^trews tv*Kv pr) l<f>rjp.tpov 
KW/XT/. /MoAurra 8 Kara <f>v<rw 2otKi> ^ KWfjirj UTT' oiVu'a? etvaC ovs 
KaXovcri rives o/moyaAaKTas TratSas rf. KCU TraiSwi/ TratSas. 2 

1 Cf. Festus p. 1 1, "affines,in agris vicini sive consanguinitate coniuncti." 

2 Aristotle, Pol. i. 2, 5, "Again, the si oplest association of several 
households for something more than ephemeral purposes is a village. 
It seems that the village in its most natural form is derived from the 
household, including all the children of certain parents and the children's 
children, or, as the phrase sometimes is, * all who are suckled upon the 
same milk.' " The reading here adopted is Mr. Heitland's emendation, 
drr' otKias. Cf. Thuc. i. IO, KUTO. Ka> TOJ 7raX<uo> rtjs 'EXXaSos- rporra). The 
Italians clung to the system up to a late period. Thuc. iii. 94. 

n?tfeT. u " 


The village community has ever been a marked feature of 
India, and is still characteristic of Indian life. 1 The Greek 
writer bears witness to its prevalence in early days. Indeed, 
the Indians never passed beyond that stage. 

Whether the systems of village communities, which were 
established in Greece and Italy, and have been most marked 
m India, but have left vestiges among other races, are derived 
from a common origin is not easy to determine definitely. 
The direct proofs are meagre, but there is indirect evidence 
of a close contact at several points between the Greek, 
Kindred Italian, and Indian civilizations. 2 There exist two groups of 
words which betray a common origin. These are represented 
by the Old Latin veicus, Later Latin vicus, Gothic zveiks, 
Old Slovenic visi, and the Albanian vise. All of these 
indicate the settlement together of a community connected 
by ties of blood, but, as time went on, the name acquired 
the meaning of locality. 

Under the second group is included the Greek KCOJJLT], 
containing the idea of rest (;et/aai, " lie "), the Gothic haims> 
and the Lithuanian kemas? 

1 Cf. Macrindle, Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and 
Arrian, p. 42. 

2 Into this point space does not permit us to enter. For a discussion 
of the subject the reader is referred to Leist, Altar. Jus Gentium, 
pp. 43, 44. 

3 Professor Schrader, Reallex. 14^, compares the Old Slovenic pokoji, 




THE next circles in the expansion of the family are the Greek 

* and curia. 

<f>parpta and the Roman curia. The origin of ^pa-rpia is self- 
evident. It comes from ^/oarwp, which bears a close 
resemblance to various words for brother, Latin frater, 
German bruder, and English brotJier^ 

The derivation of the word curia is obscure. Usually it S- 6 "^, 10 
has been connected with Quirites, the dignified title given 
to the Romans. But it may be formed from *co-viria (yir, 
" a man "). Whichever etymology be adopted, the meaning 
will in either case be the same. The word would denote a 
community or union of heads of families. 

Though much uncertainty overhangs this subject, we are and 
not left in any doubt as to the component elements and the * pttTpia< 
precise signification of the word <f>parpla itself. Unques- 
tionably, like the Old Slovenic bratrija, which it resembles 
both in form and meaning, it is a collective term. The word 
bears a recognizable relation also to the Old Slovenic 
bratstvo, of which mention has been already made, and as the 

1 These again are perhaps traceable to the root of the Greek 
"bear," "bring," and resolve themselves into "bearer," "supporter, 
"nourisher." Prellwitz compares the Old Indian bhariman, "nourish- 
ment " ; bharu-s, " lord," " husband " ; bhartdr, " nourisher," and 
bhdrtar, " husband " ; and Curtius quotes Hesychius, <f>pr)rr)p' d8(\<j>6s. 
Cf. Stein's note on Herodotus i. 125. 




of these 
" brother- 

Then a 

Slovenic word denotes a " union of brothers,'' so the 
Greek <f>paTpia is a community of eWtat, z>., " hearths," 
"households," belonging to brothers. Hence in Homer 
Nestor is made to say : 

' A.<f>piqT<Dp aOcjiKTros aveoTtos earn/ eKetvos 

x Os TToAe/xov Iparat eT 


The place 

or curia. 

A place o 

But, as was said on a previous page, in speaking of the 
gens and 761/09, in course of time the sense of relationship 
was in the case of the fyparpia overshadowed by its political 

To turn to the functions fulfilled by these brotherhoods, it 
may be observed at the outset and the mention of these 
points here obviates the necessity of a detailed discussion of 
them at a later stage, that the organization of the (f>parpia 
and curia proceeded on the same general lines as that of the 
7i>o5 and gens. The chief difference was that they covered a 
wider area. 

This leads us naturally to a discussion on the duties which 
these brotherhoods discharged and the place where they 
executed them. In Italy the name of curia was transferred 
from the union of curiales, or individual householders, to the 
council-house, where they met to transact business. But it 
is worthy of note that, as with so many other Roman 
institutions, the curia was invested with a sacred character 
and its primary purpose was religious. Under the guidance 
of the priest, curio? the curiales paid homage to their 
presiding deity. Festivals, dies curice? were specially ob- 
served. These celebrations went back to an immemorial 
antiquity. 4 c 

But this structure was turned to other uses also. It has 

1 Iliad ix. 63. " A tribeless, lawless, homeless man is he that loveth 
bitter civil strife." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.} 

2 Varro, L.L. 5, 83 ; 6, 46, Miiller. 

3 Cicero, De Or. \. 7, 27. 

4 Cf. vetoes Curia on the Palatine Hill ; Tac., Annals xii. 24 ; Curia 
prisca, Ovid, Fast. iii. 140. 


to be remembered that religion was in those days inextricably 
interwoven with daily duties, social life, and public concerns. 
The curia, then, was at once the place of public worship and 
of public consultation. It is interesting also to observe how 
well the curia typifies the social evolution of Rome. The 
name curia, or house of assembly for the curiales, subsequently 
acquired the meaning of the senate-house of the Roman 
Empire. Of the buildings devoted to the meetings of these 
deliberative bodies, the one ascribed by tradition to Tullus 
Hostilius, and known as the Curia Hostilia, was the most 

These XeV^at were originally doubtless of a very simple The Greek 
construction. But in later times they were richly adorned. 
The building at Delphi was decorated with paintings by 
Polygnotus. 1 Like most Greek institutions, at was placed Religious 
under the patronage of a deity. The god Apollo especially *' 
seems to have taken them under his protection. One of his 
titles was Ae^^vopio^, or-" guardian of assemblies." 

Underneath the diversity of usage that prevailed even Deiibera- 
within the confines of Greece the same general features are 
traceable. Each <f>parpta had without doubt a place of 
meeting similar to the Xeo-^ of the 761/05. The probability 
is that with the extension of the bounds of the community 
the Xe<7^ of the yevos was adopted as the common centre 
for the (frpaTpta also. If so, we have here a parallel to the 
growth of the meaning of the term curia. 

Not the least responsible or onerous of the duties devolv- Murder 
ing upon the fyparpia was the settlement of cases of murder. 
It will be necessary at a later stage to explain fully the early 
conceptions of the nature of this crime and its punishment. 
Suffice it here to mention that in primitive society the 
responsibility of avenging the blood of the deceased rested 
upon his kinsmen. The matter affected the family or the 
clan alone. In the days when ruder habits prevailed, a 

Paus. x, 25, i. 


rough-and-ready method was employed ; the nearest of kin 
required the blood of the assailant or demanded adequate 
reparation. That the (frpdropes were answerable for the 
blood of a kinsman and played a prominent part in the 
determination of cases of murder, is clear from the following 
law of Draco quoted by Demosthenes : 

TrpoeiTTLV TO) KTetVavTt iv ayopa evros av\j/ toreros Kat aVe^tovs Kat 
ai/t/aa<$oOs, crwStwKeiv <5e Kat aVci/aovs KOL dveij/L&v TratSas Kat yajajSpovs 
Kat Trcv&fpovs Kat 0/xxTopas. 1 

war. But as in the earlier stage of development, the period of the 

7>o9, so in this latter stage of the ^parpla the chief call upon 
the resources and energies of this body was on the outbreak 
of war. Reference has already been made to the co-opera- 
tion of the <yevvriTai and gentiles in such emergencies. So, 
in like manner, the experienced strategist Nestor again 
suggests to the captain of the Greek host the arrangement 
of his men according to phratries : 

Kpti/ oVSpas Kara <uAa, Kara <j>prJTpa.<s, ' 

The idea of placing members of phratries as brothers 
in arms 'argues a penetrating insight into human nature. 
The method brought into play the liveliest emotions that 
could inspire the human breast. Keenly susceptible to the 
instinct of kinship, fired by the glorious traditions of common 
ancestors reaching to time immemorial, stimulated by the 
records of past achievements, and possessing a common 

1 In Macart.) p. 1069. " The homicide shall be proclaimed in public 
within the relationship of cousins, that is to say, both first and second 
cousins, and the prosecution shall be instituted by cousins and cousins' 
children, and sons-in-law and fathers-in-law, and members of the brother- 
hood." Cf. Dem. C. Euerg. et Mnes. 1161. 

2 Iliad ii. 362. " Separate thy warriors by tribes and by clans, 
Agamemnon, that clan may give aid to clan and tribe to tribe." (LANG, 
LEAF and MYERS, transl.} 


stake in the issue of the conflict, they all alike threw their 
energies into the common cause. 1 

The way has by this been prepared for an enlargement of The 
the borders of the fyparpla and curia. We have now arrived at 
the highest political union, that is, the tribe, called in Greece 
<U\T;, in Italy tribus. It is necessary, however, to bear in 
mind that the origin of both these bodies is involved in 
obscurity owing to the changes and shifting of terminology. 
Yet, notwithstanding the uncertainty attaching to the sub- 
ject, there is evidently a close relation between the Greek 
and the Latin terms. Tribus probably resolves itself into 
the following constituent elements, trt, bus. The former, 
which is evidently connected with tres, " three," bespeaks a 
threefold division. 2 Such an idea of a triple division runs in 
throughout the constitution of Rome, as has already- 
appeared from the aggregates of individuals or families 
which have come under notice. So much also is implied in 
the words of the antiquary, Varro : 

Ter deni equites ex tribus tribubus Titiensium, Ramnium, Lucerum 
fiebant. 3 

This threefold principle was not unknown in Greece, for 
we learn on the authority of Herodotus 4 that the Dorians 
were divided into three tribes. This statement is borne out 
by language, poetry, and history. Thus, the description 

1 The advantages of such a method of military array were not lost 
upon the Indians. See Rigveda 10, 42, 10 ; Zimmer, Allind. Leben, p. 158. 
Cf. the Sanskrit viqam vi^am in the following hymn to Manyu, Rigveda, 
10, 84. " Cast down, O Manyu, those who lie in wait for us. Shattering, 
crushing, destroying, throw thyself upon the enemy. They stop not thy 
mighty strength ; thou, Lord, bringest them under thy dominion. . . . 
Going from troop to troop (viqam vi'qam) kindle them for the fray. 
Allied with thee will we raise the loud shout to victory." The Celts also 
fought, says Giraldus Cambrensis, c. 10, per turbas et familias. 

2 Cf. the Umbrian trefu, Biicheler, Levikon Italicutn, p. xxix. 

3 L.L. v. 91. " Thirteen horsemen or knights from each of the three 
tribes, the Titienses, the Ramnes and the Luceres." 

4 v. 68. 


in the Iliad of the Rhodians in Agamemnon's army, who 
were of Dorian descent, confirms this belief: 

TpL^da Se wKijOev 

and again : 

'PdSoi/ aAei/exoi/TO Sia 

In matter of fact the triple constitution characterized, with 
some modifications, the Dorian states of Sparta, Epidaurus, 
Sicyon, Corinth, Acragas, Megara, and Troezen. 

The suffix of the word tribus indicates a different idea, 
for while the element tri signifies division, bus signifies 
descent. It is probably identical with or contains the same 
root as <f>v\rj, which we proceed to consider. 

andiM. Underneath <f>vXr) lies the idea of "being" or "growth." 
The word shares this element with the verb $uo>, " produce," 
"bring forth," "beget." The primary meaning of $v\rj, 
then, is that of a "set of men naturally distinct." 3 But it 
soon acquired another signification. The most natural or 
obvious case of such a group of men is a union of those who 
are bound together by ties of blood. The transition from 
the idea of consanguinity to that of contiguity is easy, as we 
had occasion to observe in a previous page. Accordingly in 
process of time <f>v\tf came to be applied to an aggregate of 
families or householders classified according to their local 
habitation. This fact affords another illustration of the 
original idea of relationship gliding into that of geographical 
connection, or, regarded from another stand-point, the sub- 
ordination of the conception of kinship to that of political 
combined bearing. But, however that may be, there is abundant 
tribe and evidence of zealous co-operation on the part of the tribesmen 

the causes . 

animating whenever their safety or honour was endangered. 

The occasions which called for united action were much 

1 ii. 668. " His kinsfolk settled by kinship in three tribes." Pindar 

calls Rhodes rpiVoXu/ i/ao-oi/, O. 7, 34. 

~ Iliad ii. 655. " They dwelt in Rhodes, distributed into three parts." 
3 The phrase Kara <v\as (Xenoph. Oec. 9, 6) furnishes an instance of 

its use in this general sense. 


the same as those which influenced the " clan " or the 
brotherhood." No movement in that early age involved war. 
deeper issues than war. Wars of more or less moment 
were of constant occurrence in early stages of society, and 
when they broke out, the tribesmen found themselves 
companions in arms. The motives which actuated the 
leaders in the adoption of this principle were the same as 
those which operated in the more rudimentary stage of 
development. It will be remembered how the aged Nestor, 
who carried weight in the councils of the Greek army, 
at once for his years and his experience, recommends 
Agamemnon to marshal his men in such a way that kinsmen 
would fight shoulder to shoulder. 

The same consideration influenced him in urging 
Agamemnon to place the tribesmen side by side, with a 
view to inspiring confidence and to acting as an incentive to 
their martial ardour : 

'Qs tfrprjrpr) <f>prJTpij<l>LV aprjyr}, <vA.a Sc (^vXots. 1 

Of this system of putting tribesmen to fight in each other's 
company an interesting trace survives in the word <$>v\oin<s 
or " battle-cry." 2 That it is derived from <f>v\ov (the 
Homeric form of <t>v\rj) may be regarded as certain. The 
<u\77, as has already been seen, constitutes the army, and 
the " din of battle," the " war-cry," retains to the last the 
traces of its original signification. Though totally different 
in form it presents in meaning a parallel to the Highland 
slogan, " gathering-cry " of the clans, " watchword." s 

Peace likewise laid obligations on the tribesmen of Greece, cases of 


The tribe as a whole assumed responsibility for the death of 
one of its members, even if it led to war. The following line 

1 Iliad ii. 363. The passage is quoted more fully on p. 292. 

2 It occurs in Iliad iv. 635 ; xiii. 635 ; and Odyss. xi. 334. 

3 The Gaelic equivalent is from sluagk-ghairm, " an army cry" ; Irish 
sluag, " an army." 

The legend f rO m Pindar takes the mind back to the time when 

of Ixion. 

was the chief constitutional body : 

ffJL<f>V\LOV olfJLO. 7IY><im<rTOS 7TjU,l^ OvrjTOl.^^ 

The reference is to Ixion. He was king of the Lapithse in 
Thessaly and sued for the hand of the daughter of Deioneus. 
When the father demanded of the prospective son-in-law 
the bridal gifts 2 which he had promised in the days of his 
wooing, Ixion treacherously invited him to a banquet and 
contrived to make his guest fall into a pit of fire. So 
intense was the indignation at this treacherous murder, 
aggravated, as it was, by a violation of hospitality, that none 
would purify the offender of his sin. 

The following passage in Homer depicts vividly the way 
in which the tribe dogged the steps of the murderer of one 
of their kin : 

Ovrto rot Kat eywv CK TrarpiSos, aivopa Kara/eras 
* E.fji<f>v\ov' TroAAol Se KacriyvrjTOL re erai re 
"Apyos av ITTTTO/^OTOJ/, /xeya Sc Kpartovcrw ' 
Toil/ viraAeva/xevos KOI Krjpa /xcA 
eTm vv /xoi aura KO.T' avOpuTrows 


Such was the practice in primitive Greek society. But 
the espousal of the cause of a murdered kinsman by the tribe 
had far-reaching consequences, and later ages witnessed a 
new departure. As milder manners prevailed and human 
ideas gained ground formal trials were substituted for the 
old vendetta. 

Growth of The expansion of the constitution, as already described, 
produced a corresponding change in the external aspect of 

1 2, 57. " He first introduced among mortals the shedding of kindred 
blood." Cf. yEschylus, Eumen. 137, 154, Prom. 718. 

3 Cf. Chapter xii. 146, 147. 

:< Odyss. xv. 272. " Even so I too have fled from my country, for the 
manslaying of one of mine own kin. And many brethren and kinsmen 
of the slain are in Argos, the pastureland of horses, and rule mightily 
over the Achaeans. Wherefore now am I an exile to shun death and 
black fate at their hands, for it is my doom yet to wander among men." 
(BUTCHER and LANG, transit) 


public life. So long as the Greeks and Italians remained at 
the stage of the 761/09 and gens, the ^pa-rpia and the curia, 
villages sufficed to meet the needs of the population. But 
as the boundary was extended, and <f>v\r) or tribus came into 
existence towns gradually grew up. 

The reason for this is doubtless to be sought in the 
circumstance that in primitive periods the inhabitants were 
obliged to take refuge from hostile invasion in such strong- 

i i j i r j i r A Citadels in 

holds. An analysis of the various names for town points to itaiy and 
the same conclusion. The list appended may be regarded 
as typical of the rest : drx suggests the idea of stronghold 
against attack. The Greek apicea>, "ward off," "defend"; 
area, a "strong-box," "chest," "safe"; arcanus, " secret," 
and probably Lupercus the protector (arceo) of flocks from 
wolves (lupus) belong to the same category. The term 
capitoKum, which is chiefly familiar from its association with 
the citadel of Rome, but was also used at Capua and 
Beneventum, denoted " head " (capitulum, capuf), and con- 
sequently " height," overtopping or overlooking the town. 
The term oppidum (op-pedu-m) indicates a town built over 
the plain (pedum, Greek 7reSoi>, Sanskrit padaui), as if it were 
TO eVl T&> TreoYft). 1 

Similarly in Greece a/cpa and aicp6iro\i^ plainly denote the 
" peak," " the mountain top." 2 The latter term is of frequent 
occurrence in Greece, attesting the fact that the life was 
unsafe, and that the inhabitants took these precautions 
against the depredations of enemies. The situation chosen 
for towns was some miles from the coast, and bespeaks the 
danger to be apprehended from sea rovers. 

These citadels in course of time formed a nucleus for 
future towns in the proper sense of the term. Houses 
gathered around them, and these became surrounded with 
earthworks. "Aa-rv (fao-ru), comes from root vas, which 

1 Curtius, Gr. Etym. 

2 Athens had its Acropolis, Corinth its Acrocorinthos ; Troy, too, 
possessed its Pergamos. 


primarily signified to encompass, afterwards to " clothe," to 
" dwell." The root appears in the Sanskrit vdstu^ " place," 
" house " ; and the Greek ea-ria, " hearth," " goddess of the 
hearth." l Urbs is probably connected with the Sanskrit 
vardh- to " make strong," whence the Persian vdrd-ana, 
" city." 

The word Tro'Xt? is probably to be referred to the same root 
as the Sanskrit, pur, "place of refuge"; pura-m, "town," 
"citadel." 3 Underneath these two words in all probability 
lies the idea of fulness, which forms an element of populus? 
But though originally only a geographical expression, the 
term 776X49 in process of time assumed the meaning of state. 
This meaning is traceable in Homer, but it is only in the 
historic period that the word acquired its full significance, 
as witness the technical terms TroXtre/a, TroXm/eo? and 
numberless other derivatives. 

trvvoiKKrw- Mythology sheds a ray of light upon the transition from 

of e phl end the village to the town. The subject of one legend is 

T A?l?s f Phoroneus, a prince of Argos. Each feature is significant. 

He was the first (so ran the tale) who united the people, 

which had hitherto lived without cities and without laws in 

scattered and solitary habitations, into a city that bore his 

name, aarv QopwviKov, 41 the city of Phoronicum. 

Other elements of civilization are associated with his name. 

1 The relative position of the aarv and TroAi? is conveyed in 
Qdyss. viii. 551. ol Kara tia-rv KOI ol Trepivmerdovo-tv. Cf. 173, 555 5^O, 
574 ; ix. 40 ; Iliad ix. 328. 

2 Curtius, Gr. Etym. ; Zimmer, Altind. Leben, 142. 

3 Though differing widely in form as well from Greek and Latin names 
for towns as from each other, a fact which proves the adoption of town 
life after the separation of the Aryans, the following words exhibit some 
similarity in meaning to the instances quoted in the text. Such are the 
series of Teutonic expressions : Anglo-Saxon ton, and Scandinavian tun, 
Gothic tains, Scandinavian teinn, German zaun, (i) A place rudely 
fortified with stakes, and used of farmsteadings and manors ; (2) an 
enclosure ; (3) a town. Ton forms an element in one-eighth of the 
names of dwelling-places in South Britain (Blackie, Diet, of Place-names). 
In Low German tun is used for "garden." In like manner the Old 
Slavonic gradu, Russian gorodu, exhibit a parallel development. It 
passes into place-names like Novgorod, " new fortress." 

4 Pausan. ii. 1 5. 


He discovered the use of fire, 1 and was alive to the power of 
religion as a bond of union ; he was the first to offer sacrifice 
to Hera. 

Theseus is credited with having effected corresponding 
changes in Attica. He introduced a political revolution, of Athens. 
He combined the townships, twelve in number, and made 
Athens the head of a commonwealth. The value of religion 
as a uniting force was not forgotten. He reinstated the 
Athenaea, and gave it the more comprehensive title of Pan- 

The strength and commanding position of the citadels 
already described, which formed the centre or nucleus around strong, 
which the town gathered, accounts for the supremacy which 
certain cities achieved at the dawn of Greek and Italian st 
civilization. Though by the time portrayed in the Homeric 
poems the <j>v\tj formed the basis of the military organization, 
a warrior class was gradually coming into existence, 2 and as 
is usual in such cases, it was deemed unworthy a noble or 
free man to dwell with his low-born dependents on his 
land. Accordingly, occupying this coign of vantage they were 
able to dominate the neighbourhood, and by carrying fire 
and sword reduce neighbouring townships to submission. 
The hegemony of Athens in Greece and of Alba Longa in 
Italy may have been won after this manner, but the further 
consideration of the subject lies outside the scope of our 
inquiry. Only one remark need be made, and this follows 
naturally upon what has just been said about the absorption 
of the clan in the city. With this observation we shall 
dismiss the clan, the brotherhood, and the tribe. The clan 
system was a fundamental idea inherent alike in the Greek JJjver- 
and Italian states ; in both countries the state was evolved 
out of the clan. But the idea of the state developed differently mind< 
in Greece and Italy, a circumstance which confirms and 
emphasizes what was said in a previous page concerning the 

1 Pausan. ii. 19, 5. 

- Cf. Miiller, Dorians ii. 66. 


most marked characteristics of the Greek and Roman mind. 
We saw that the Greek was distinguished by an intense 
individuality and independence of character, the Roman by 
conservatism and self-effacement, and their relative attitude 
to the claims of clan and state corroborates in a marked 
manner these characteristic differences. Under the weaker 
political development of Greece the clan was perpetuated 
down to a late time ; in Italy it was neutralized early. 
This Greek spirit of freedom operated in yet another 
direction. In Greece the individual was able to assert his 
distinctive personality, in Italy, especially in Rome, there 
was a tendency towards the production of men of one mould 
and of a uniform level. The ideal citizen was the man who 
sank his private predilections and lost himself in the com- 
monwealth. Even the proper names of Greeks and Romans 
reflect the difference between the spirit of the two systems or 
constitutions. The Greek names exhibited an exuberance 
and variety, the Roman names were comparatively meaning- 
less and pointless, and steadily diminished in number. 1 So 
it went on to the end ; the Greeks inclined to diversity, the 
Roman cultivated homogeneousness. At length the two 
civilizations came into conflict, and the issue was not long 
undecided. Unable to withstand the weight of the cen- 
tralized power of Rome, the Greek communities collapsed 
and took their place among the constituent factors of the 
Roman Republic. 

1 Mommsen, Roman History i. 26. 




THE constitution, as appeared above, had hitherto developed The 
on the lines of kinship ; the clan grew out of the family, the hood Ind 
brotherhood out of the clan, and the tribe out of the aprepanu. 

,-r- t -i i ... tion for 

brotherhood. But even the tribe, despite its primitive higher 

. . f . . combina- 

pnnciples of cohesion, its shrewd arrangement on the battle- tions. 
field, and an administration of justice congenial to the state 
of the human intellect at the time, did not hold out promise 
of permanence or perpetuity; and great as was the superiority 
of the tribe over previous social combinations, it was not 
the be-all and end-all of social advancement and social 

The truth is, Greek and Italic society still shared the Barbarism 
attributes of barbaric communities in general. For bar- civmza- 

. ... f . . -... tion.j 

bansm is a principle, not of society, but of isolation. 
Uncivilized races may combine from the gregariousness of 
their nature, from association by blood, or from accidental 
proximity ; but they do not form civilized polities. 1 On 
the other hand, the civilized community possesses certain 
characteristics which mark it off from the barbaric, and its 
distinguishing badge is progress. Though it may have had 
a barbarian era, it is ever moving further and further in the 
direction of closer union. It cultivates the due disposition 
and orderly arrangement of its component elements. It has 
common aims, principles, rules and views. It studies pru- 
dence, foresight, inquiry and invention. Justice, benevolence, 
expediency, religion, these are its animating principles. The 

1 Newman, Historical Sketches i. 167. 


surrender of self is the price which the members of the 
civilized community pay for the security of life and property. 
The tribe, therefore, was not the goal of Greek and Roman 
civilization ; a new order of things and organizations of a 
wider range were in process of accomplishment. It has 
been seen that the old idea of kinship was gradually giving 
way to territorial division. It has been seen also how the 
clan and brotherhood were co-extensive and identical with 
the village, how the tribe gradually gathered around the 
town, and how, in Greece at any rate, the city (770X49) 
became synonymous with the state. 

The line of development pursued by early society has an 
immediate bearing upon the development of the idea of 
government. It is necessary therefore to pause for a while 
and consider how it affected the origin of monarchy. 
Monarchy was the supreme embodiment of authority in early 
phases of society, because essentially part of their political 

pSwer y an ^he P ower f the king has in reality been evolved from the 

*offiafr?a * l ght of the head of the household in the primitive stages of 

potestas. society. It will be remembered, that in the earliest epoch 

to which we can go back supreme authority resided in the 

hands of the father of the family (paterfamilias). At times 

it was exercised with rigour and always with firmness. 

Afterwards, we saw that the clansmen chose a leader to 

whom they submitted implicitly in war, and generally owed 

chiefs of obedience in peace. A similar institution existed in the 

brother- " brotherhood," and the same motives actuated the members 

hoods fore- 
runners of of this larger society in the choice of a head. But neither 

was this the final stage attained by the idea of monarchical 
Three ^ government. Just as the clan elected a leader, and -the 
of trf e r wth brotherhood a chief, so the tribe placed itself under a king, 
po^e? who eclipsed the leader of the clan and head of the brother- 
First over hood in external emblems of authority, and contrived to 
the tribe. conce ntrate, if not to monopolize, power in his own hands, 
survivals of this stage of social development several terms survive, 
stage. Such was the word tribunus, the head of a tribe (tribus), 


corresponding to the pleuienski (pleme, ' a tribe ') among the 
southern Slavs. Such was the <f>v\o!a<7i\6vs at Athens. 
Such was his counterpart in Italy, the rex sacrificulus. This 
official was appointed by the tribe to perform sacrifices, but, 
as will be seen hereafter, this function was only a remnant of 
the high prerogatives which belonged to the king in an 
earlier age. 

The tribe, then, was so far the sphere of the kingly juris- 
diction. But in process of time various considerations 
concurred in favour of extending the political horizon, and of 
bringing within its range several tribes, occupying, it may be, 
widely distant tracts of territory. In most civilized countries 
the narrower organizations have been absorbed by the nation, 
and if they have not been altogether assimilated, they have 
at any rate, been relegated to a subordinate position. Among 
the Slavs of the South, 1 however, the triple organization of 
which we have spoken, the clan, the brotherhood and the 
tribe, has survived until comparatively recent times, but it is 
an anomaly in modern Europe, and its survival was the out- 
come of the peculiar circumstances and historic antecedents 2 
of the Slavs. 

There was yet another change to come. Ultimately the 
idea of territorial unity superseded the conception of kinship, J t " * dic ~ 
whether as exhibited in the clan, the brotherhood, or the 
tribe. The late origin of this new system, that is, of 
territorial government, relieves us of the necessity of discuss- 
ing it in detail. Yet it is not devoid of significance. It illus- siow rise 
trates the tenacity with which the idea of relationship as a f th 
basis of society and bond of union was retained. It points design"- 1 
also to the unsettled character of society in periods previous *" 
to the substitution of territorial for tribal government. Even 
after the jurisdiction of the king had spread beyond the 
limits of the tribe, the title that he arrogated on the assump- as shown 
tion of his new authority, proclaimed his supremacy over 

1 Cf. Ch. xxi. 

Ch. Hi., p. 30, 279 ff. 


men rather than land. Such is the style adopted by the 
Lord of Persia in the Inscriptions. Such, too, is the term 
" King of the Lydians." l 

and the This is not all. A man in ancient times claimed connec- 
ofthe tion with his friends or clan or tribe, and not with his 

sentiment . 

i a f n f d ther " coun t r y The traveller in Homer or Vergil, in introducing 
himself among strangers, boasts of his kinship with them. 
The exile in like manner longs for the society of his relatives. 
He knows little or nothing as yet of the sentiment of 
" mother country " or " fatherland." 

Beanng of The extension of the kingly jurisdiction kept pace with 

tioTofa" *ke g ra d ua l widening of the mental horizon. Though in the 

kin e- first instance only chief of a tribe, the king's power now 

covers the wider area of a nation, and finally he becomes a 

territorial monarch. Only in oriental countries, however, or 

countries imbued with oriental sentiments, was this principle 

pushed to its legitimate issues. Only there in the ancient 

world do we meet with the conceptions of world-wide 

empires, the cherished dreams of a Darius or an Alexander. 

Having disposed of these prior considerations, we proceed 
to trace the development of the institution of king and 
government on Greek and Italian soil. 
Aristotle Aristotle remarks that kingship was the original form of 

on the 

theory of government : 



The truth is that this theory of government responds to a 
natural instinct in men to be led or governed ; there are 
natural rulers and natural subjects. 3 The former are qualified 
intellectually to form projects, the latter are qualified physi- 
ca ^ v to carr y them out. The kingly rule, then, according to 
the philosophic doctrine above propounded, is natural to 

1 tiva AviaV is found in Homer, but it is not the earliest form. So 
again, 6 Trora/ios pea 8ia Ki\iKa>v. Dr. Schrader cites modern parallels 
(Reallex., 792)- 

2 i. n, 6. "States were originally governed by kings, as is still the 
case with the nations (i.e. non-Hellenic peoples)." 

3 Id. \. 11, 2. 


primitive conditions of mankind, and the history of Aryan 
races bears out the theory. That the king was a central 
figure in early Aryan communities is apparent from a 
comparison of various countries. To begin with the two 
countries which have proved useful in shedding light upon 
early Greece and Italy, India is particularly interesting in 
this connection. 1 There the polity is governed by a king India. 
(ra'jan-), or by several kinglets (rtfjdnas), precisely in the 
same way as the power of the king was curtailed in some 
Greek states by various ftacriXeis. The Indian king is 
elected. He wields authority in war, and he fulfils certain 
duties in times of peace, though the latter are somewhat 

Slav tribes in this, as in other respects, have clung with The siavs. 
remarkable tenacity to primitive institutions. 2 The simplicity 
of their internal unity and the individuality of their political 
structure have often been noted in these pages. The process 
of evolution of the king from the chieftain is well illustrated 
among the Slavs. The head of the tribe is called glavar 
pleminski? He is chosen by the pleminici, or tribesmen, and 
in some tribes the title to the office belongs to one family. 
But in the event of failure on the part of the chief, whether 
in courage or capacity, he may be deposed by the members 
of the community. It will be found that Greece and Italy Greece and 
conform to the same law of development, with minor differ- 
ences to which attention will be called as they arise. 

The evidence as regards the institution of kingship in 
Greece is by no means scanty. It will furnish us with some 
of the most interesting illustrations of the monarchical 
principle, while our inquiry proceeds. As for Italy, the 
existence of a king in the early records of that country might 
be pre-supposed in the light of the experiences of other races. 
Indeed, the king left an unmistakable impress upon the 

1 Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 162 ; W. Foy, Die konigliche 
Gewalt nach den altindischen Rechtsbuchern, Leipzig, 1895. 

2 Cf. Krauss, Sitte und Brauch der Sudslaven. 

3 Dr. Schrader (Reallex., p. 442) quotes from Mauricios the term 



early history of Rome. Unfortunately, however, the tradi- 

tional history of the monarchy at Rome is involved in a cloud 

of legends which were invented to account for the rise of 

various institutions. Still, the authority for the existence of 

kings at Rome rests upon a solid foundation of fact, and 

justifies the attempt to disentangle its constituent elements. 

It is maintained by Aristotle in the passage from which 

quotation has already been made that in the earliest times 

The most the sources of obedience and authority were personal. 1 It is 

theory of well known that barbarians at this day make conquests and 

achieve greatness by means of remarkable men, in whom 
they, as it were, live and move. The philosopher accounts 
for the personal ascendency by supposing that conspicuous 
merit was uncommon, and that authority, when once 
acquired, was undisputed and easily maintained. 2 The 
most obvious illustration of this principle is found in the 
Paternal head of the household. This paternal supremacy is the 
the 5?eBt basis of the kingly government. " Every household has its 
monarchy, king," 3 and the Cyclopes in their want of corporate life, 
type of the being " lawgivers " only to their own wives and children, 4 
power. are prototypes of the kings of the future. Even the govern- 
ment of the heavenly Olympus is formed on the same model, 
for all nations ascribe to the gods the polity which was once, 
if it is not still, their own ; and men assimilate the lives no 
less than the bodily form of the gods to themselves. 5 
Throughout the whole of the government of Greece and 
Italy ran this idea, that monarchical government in states 
was derived and developed from the monarchy of the eldest 
male member of the family. 
The The evolution of the king from the householder is shown 

evidence of . c . . 

language. m a variety of ways. The testimony of language points in 

1 Cf. Eth. Nic. viii. 12, 4, 5. 

2 Pol. in. 10, 7. 

3 Pol. i. 2, 6 ; cf. Plato, Laws, 680 (of TrdXm) 7rarpoi>o/*ou/if j/ot /cat /3ao~i- 
Xeiai/ Tracrtov diKaioTaTrjv /3a<riXeuo/i'oi. 

4 The passage is quoted in Ch. x., p. 124. 
Aristotle, Pol. \. 2, 7. 


that direction. It is noteworthy for instance that the 
Sanskrit ganaka bears both meanings. In like manner the 
Sanskrit term vippati, the Lithuanian wi$z-palis and wiez- 
patnie, meant respectively "lord" and "lady." 1 The word 
ganaka, from denoting originally the head of a house- 
hold, became the conventional title of the king. What 
the father was in the household, the king was among his 
people the strong, powerful protector. Yet another proof 
of the transition is afforded by the term imperium. This 
word was in the first instance applied to the patria potestas 
or paternal supremacy, as an analysis of it serves to show, 
for its component elements are doubtless parare to " prepare," 
"govern," endu, "within." 5 Indeed it was used for the 
patria potestas itself. But in course of time it bore the 
signification of empire, and in this sense it has descended to 
modern Europe and is used to this day. 

Next, the epithets applied to a king serve as a collateral J e h s e cription 
confirmation of the evolution both of the title and of the 

institution of monarchy. The ideal monarch is a " shepherd 
of his people;" in Greek, TTOL^V Xawv 3 ; in Sanskrit gopa! direction - 
janasya ; in Anglo-Saxon folces hyrde. Underneath these 
phrases lies the idea that as a shepherd guards 4 his flock so 
the king guards those committed to his charge, and gives 
his undivided energies to the promotion of their welfare. 
He must be gentle as a father, as was Odysseus of Ithaca. 5 
A curious correspondence exists between the last-mentioned 
expression and a phrase in the Law of Yajnavalkya, 6 where 
the temper of the ideal ruler is described. The same 
qualities are looked for in India as in Greece. The king 

1 Cf. Ch. xvi., pp. 204, 207. 

- The root is also seen in pau-per, "getting little," "poor." Verg., 
Georg. i. 99 ; Tacitus, Germ. 26, employ imperare, in the older sense of 
constant breaking up the ground. 

3 Odyss. iii. 24. 

4 Cf. Sanskrit pajus, " guardian." The root is the same as appears in 
pater > Trar^p. See Ch. xvi., p. 204, 205. For the underlying idea see 

Numbers xxvii. 17. 

5 TTOT^p 8* 0>S fJTTlOS T)CV, OdfSS. H. 47, 234. 

6 A. F. Stenzler, i. 333-335. 


must be " patient towards the Brahmanas, upright towards 
friends, wrathful towards enemies, but to servants and 
subjects even as a father." 
The power The belief in the evolution of the king from the house- 

of the king 

chicai. holder derives further confirmation from the fact that the 
power of the king in some states was monarchical. Although, 
as will appear later, all countries did not follow this method, 
yet in some states the king possessed unlimited power. No 
Cyclops ruled more absolutely in his circumscribed sphere 
than did the king at Rome. But at a later time this 
authority was curtailed, reduced to a shadow of its previous 
pre-eminence, and finally abolished for ever. 

The king's But the strongest corroboration of the belief in the direct 
threefold, derivation of the kingly power from the authority of the head 
house- of the household lies in the fact that the duties of the house- 
holder were threefold. He was at once protector, priest and 
judge. The duties of the king were of a corresponding 
character, as a few considerations will serve to show. But 
before we address ourselves to this task the staple of this 
and the succeeding chapter the method of appointment of 
kings claims our attention. 

The king's The system of appointing kings varied in different Aryan 
races in later times, and no fixed rule can be laid down. 
Even within the limits of one group of races, the branches 
observed a different practice. So -it Was in the various 
branches of the Teutonic family of races. Among the Goths, 
Lombards, Saxons and Scandinavians, the office was heredi- 
tary; among the Westgoths of Spain and in Germany it 
was elective. Italy and Greece also exemplify this variation. 
That the kings were elected at Rome is apparent from the 
material at our*command. The evidence is inconsiderable, 
but suffices to establish the point. There the community of 
the people, which was made up of free and equal husband- 
men, and could not boast of a nobility by the grace of God, 1 

1 Mommsen, Roman History i. 66,- with whom Schwegler agrees, 
Romische Geschichte i. 645. 


elected from their own number a rex (" leader "), a dictator 
("commander") 1 or magister populi (" master of the people.") 2 
The authority of this official, however, was circumscribed by 
powerful restrictions. Until the king called together the 
general assembly of freemen capable of bearing arms, and 
formally challenged their allegiance, 3 he could not claim 
their fidelity or obedience. But when once he assumed the 
reins of government he was from henceforth not merely the 
first, but the only one clothed with individual authority in 
the state, and his tenure of office terminated only with his 
death. He might nominate a successor (apparently this 
was part of his duty), 4 but in the event of failure to discharge 
this office the burgesses assembled unsummoned and desig- 
nated an interrex* or temporary king. But so jealous were 
they of their delegated authority, and so suspicious of 
usurpation, that they hedged in the temporary makeshift 
whom they set up by several limitations. He was not 
allowed to command the allegiance of the people for himself, 
and he laid down his office at the expiration of five days. 
As has been observed previously, much uncertainty over- 
hangs the subject of the early kings of Rome, and the avail- 
able evidence is of an indirect nature, but the conclusions 
enunciated above rest on a firm foundation. 

The case stands otherwise in Greece. The Homeric 
poems, which are replete with evidence of the position and hereditary, 
power of the early kings, reveal no traces of the principle of 
election. The father hands down the power to the son, and 
the prerogative is undisputed. It has been already pointed 
out that the kingly power became the monopoly of certain 
families. Such in Persia were the Achaemenidae ; such at 
Athens were the Eupatridas, of whom mention has already 

1 From ettcto, "pronounce," "declare." The chief magistrate of 
several Italian states was called by this title. 

2 Cf. Ch. xx. 272. 

3 Mommsen, ibid., p. 67. 

4 Ibid., p. 68. 

5 Cf. Livy i. 17, 32. The title was retained in the days of the 
Republic and applied to an officer specially appointed in case of death 
or absence of the chief magistrates till the selection of their successors. 


been made. But even in Homer certain leaders like 
Agamemnon and Menelaus belong to a kingly race (/5a<rtXea>- 
rarov). 1 

The Homeric institution of kingship combines several 

difference, features of late origin with others which go back to a high 
antiquity, and of the novel features of the institution in the 
pages of Homer the hereditary transmission of the sceptre is 
one. The question therefore arises how is the deep-seated 
difference between early Greece and early Italy to be 
accounted for ? The answer probably lies in the following 
circumstance : The spread of the Mycenaean culture in the 
East and the Greek Islands has already been remarked 
upon. 2 Dr. Schrader 3 is disposed to ascribe the origin of 
the hereditary transmission of the kingly power in Greece to 
that epoch. Under the influence of Asia Minor the power 
of the king had been unduly exalted to limits unknown 
either at the time when the monarchical principle was in its 
infancy, or in after ages, when the rise of noble families had 
curbed the power of the king. The general conclusion, then, 
which may be deduced from a comparison of the institution 
of the kingly office in Greece and Italy, and the evidence 
afforded by the records of other races, 4 is that of the two 
principles, the elective preceded the hereditary. But in 
spite of this fundamental difference in the method of 
appointment of the kings in Greece and Italy their position 

The in both countries is essentially parallel. It remains for us to 

position of .... .. .1. i-i-r 

the king, illustrate this correspondence, and to indicate the chief 
stages in the growth of the kingly power and the features 
which it exhibited. 

A leader Now, a study of rude and uncultivated tribes at the present 
day makes it clear that the most valued accomplishment in 
a chief is skill in the art of war. The early Roman and the 

1 Iliad 'ii. 101 ; ix. 160 ; x.'239 ; xx. 304 ; Odyss. xv. 539. Cf. Tyrtaeus, 
Fragm. ix. 5,8 (ed. Schneidewin), and Thuc. ii. 80 ; Grote, History 
of Greece ii. 62. 

2 Chapter v., p. 58. 3 Reallex., p. 449. 

4 As in India, where the king was elected. See W. Foy, Die konigliche 
Geiualt nach den altindischen Rechtsbuchern, Leipzig, 1895. 


Greek are in this respect on a par with the savage. Unques- 
tionably, the highest requisite in the king was a capacity to 
lead in the field. At Rome, the king wielded in the time of Rome. 
war a power (imperium) that knew no bounds. He was 
attended by lictors, who bore the rods (virgae), and the axe 
(securis), which respectively symbolized the power to flog 
and to behead. In Homeric Greece, likewise, he had the H mer - 
power of life and death. According to a passage preserved 
by Aristotle, the poet makes Agamemnon say : 

Trap yap e/xol flai/aros. 1 

and in theory the Homeric king wields supreme authority in 
the time of war. 

The original terms for king are not without significance. The 

_, . . . conditions 

The dangers to which the Aryans were exposed in the course of the 
of their migrations, the collisions with the previous inhabi- were 


tants whom they dislodged, the constant ferment and to th ? 

f election of 

continual fluctuation during the shifting of masses of popula- |J i w * rrior 
tion, 2 the frequent engagements in tribal warfare, these 
events necessitated a drain on the resources of the race, 
called out their warlike qualities, and marked out the 
possessors of them as fitted for the kingly office. The king, 
then, was in the first instance a commander in war. 

The testimony of language confirms the above conclusion. 
Traces of this state of things survive in several terms for 
king. The Indian king was entitled sdtpati-, "The strong Terms for 
lord," and rajan- rd'j-, "marshaller," "disposer"; his Latin king * 
counterpart rex (from regere, to "direct," "rule") 3 ; the 

1 Pol. iii. xiv. 2. " Mine is the arbitrament of death." The reference 
is to Iliad ii. 391-3, but the words trap yap e'/ioi QayaTos do not occur in 
the texts of Homer, nor in the NIC. Ethics iii., p. m6A, where also 
Aristotle cites the passage. But the Alexandrian critics " effaced many 
traces of old manners." Grote, Hist, of Greece ii. 86. 

2 Thuc. i. 2-12. 

3 The connection of rex (accus. reg-em) with ra'jan is clear. Cf. the 
Celtic stem rig, " king,'' from which the Germans at a very early time 
borrowed *rik, " ruler " ; so too the Gothic reiks and Anglo-Saxon rice, 
" powerful " ; English rich, bishopric, in the termination of which 
survives the idea of dominion (Lanman, p. 229.). The district over 
which the primitive king's jurisdiction extended was called in Sanskrit 
raj-yd-m, and in Latin regio, " district," and regnum, " kingdom." 





Greek /3a<riXeu9, perhaps from */3a<rt- : /9aw>o>, in an active 
sense, " one who makes to go," and Xeu? : X^o?, " the 
people." 1 

In view of the purpose for which the king was appointed 
kis personal attributes assume importance. It is worthy of 
note, for example, that in early laws stress was laid upon his 
bodily fitness. 2 Physical incapacity or bodily defect was a 
bar to the attainment of the office. Such was the case 
at Sparta, a state in which the warlike arts constituted 
the chief study and occupation of the citizens. So the 
oracle only voiced the public sentiment when it pronounced 
Agesilaus's lameness a serious disqualification. " Beware," 
said the Pythoness, " of a lame sovereign." 3 In like 
manner, at Rome, lameness precluded an aspirant from 
admission to the supreme magistracy. 4 

The portrayal of the personal appearance of a king in 
Homer is conformable to the above description of the 
qualities required in a leader. He must be impressive in 
bearing, and possess a commanding presence. His bodily 
strength must be superior to that of the ordinary men. 5 Of 
Sarpedon, a Prince of Lycia, it is said : 



1 Prellwitz offers an alternative etymology. a<n-, Old Bactrian jaiti, 
"house"; Lithuanian gimtis, "natiirliches Geschlecht." /SatrtAevy would 
then mean " geschlechtsherr," like the Old High German chuning. Others 
think pa<ri\i>s refers to a custom akin to the Old German and Celtic 
usage by which the king showed himself to his people on a stone. 
/3a + Xev = Aufa, " stone." Cf. Vanic'ek in verb. But this is not at all 
certain. See Schrader, Reallex., p. 448. Other words containing 
similar ideas are the Latin prcetor, fira-itor, " one who goes before," 
" leader," " commander " ; dux, " leader " ; rcryo's, from rarro), " mar- 
shaller " ; and apxayeras (apxfiv), the oldest title for Spartan kings. 

Cf. i Sam. x. 23 ; xvi. 6, 7. 

Cf. Dionys. v. 25. 

These prohibitions were no accidents or anomalies in Spartan or 
Roman annals. By the laws of the Prussian constitution incurable 
disease similarly incapacitates the sufferer for accession to the throne. 

eoiKe Se/xas pavtitfi avaKTi, Odyss. xx. 194. Cf. xxiv. 253. 

Iliad xvi. 541. " The leader of the Lycian shieldmen, he that 
defended Lycia by his dooms and his might." (LANG, LEAF and 
MYERS, transit) 


The Iliad presents to view another conspicuous case of 
the importance attached to personal prowess. The poet, in 
describing the contingent to the Greek army furnished by 
the Argives, 1 mentions that the chief command was con- 
ferred, not on a native prince, however illustrious his 
descent, but upon Diomedes, an ^Etolian by birth. 2 The 
reason is not far to seek. Proved valour was not merely a 
recommendation, but an indispensable requisite in a leader. 
The native princes therefore occupy a subordinate position 
under the orders of one of alien origin indeed, but of un- 
doubted bravery and superior skill in the arts of war. 3 The 
same consideration dictated another measure in the appoint- 
ment of a king. When the ruling king had passed his 
prime and was no longer fitted for leadership in war, he 
resigned the reigns of government. Thus Laertes made 
way for Odysseus, and Peleus for Achilles. 4 So far, we have A 
seen that the king was called into existence by the demand 

for a leader in the battle-field. It is natural to find this supplants 
feeling predominant in the barbaric stages of social develop- 
ment, an era of blood-shedding, raids and border wars, but 
as communities advanced further and further from this 
primitive condition of life, a new ideal of kingship arose. 
Unlike a barbarian community and unlike itself in the 
primitive epoch through which it has previously passed, a 
civilized race or a race in process of civilization awakes to 
the necessity of prudence, foresight and calculation of con- 
sequences. The result is that less store is set upon bodily 
strength than formerly, and mental ability usurps its place. 
If Ajax is the ideal of barbarian power, Odysseus is the 
ideal of the well-ordered community. 

1 ii. 563. 

3 See Eustathios on ii. 567. 

3 pofjv dyaBos, ii., line 567. 

4 Odyss. i. 187-193 ; cf. Iliad, ii. 721 ; xiii. 691 ; ix. 437, 443. It was 
customary in Persia to elect a son as regent during the life-time of his 
father ; the father retained the royal prerogatives, the son fulfilled the 
royal functions. 



barbarian ^ HE requirements of an advancing civilization call, as we 
stru d cdve e ," saw m t ^ le * ast cna P ter > f r the display of other qualities 
cMHzed than- brute strength or martial pre-eminence. Civilization 
sSuctfve. spreads by the arts of peace, by morality, justice and religion, 
Mora i and as one of the keenest incitements to progress or advance 
m culture is the will of prominent individuals, the progress 
and prosperity of a community depends in no small measure 
upon the will of kings. These characteristics of civilized 
nations at a later day were not entirely absent even from the 
barbarian communities of the earlier epoch which we have 
been considering, nor are unprogressive races at this day 
altogether devoid of them. The advantages derived from 
embodying in their kings the principles of religion and 
justice were certainly not lost upon the early inhabitants of 
Greece and Italy. 

The sacrificial functions are generally, though not univers- 
fuSctlolfs 1 a *ty> among Aryans connected with the kingly office. Even 
of the king, the savage kings of to-day are aware that an alliance with 
the priesthood strengthens their hands, and they lose no 
opportunity of impressing their subjects with their own 
supernatural or spiritual prerogatives. These, as a rule, 
resolve themselves into the exercise of magic. Among the 
functions of an African chief- and he is a type of a chief in 
most uncultivated communities is the duty of making 
atonement for the people by magical arts, 1 of propitiating the 

1 Fr. Ratzel, History of Mankind, p. 130. 


anger of powerful spirits or of obtaining favours from them 
by means of prayer and incantation. To such an extent is 
this sentiment carried among such races, that the religious 
character of a chiefs children has ere now challenged the 
respect of the public, even though they may have been 
reduced to slavery. 1 And the Greek and Italian counterpart 
of the African chief found in religion a powerful instrument 
for deepening the respect of his subjects for the kingly office. 

The memorials of the life of the early Italian communi- Ital y- 
ties, as has been previously observed, are comparatively 
meagre. But we possess sufficient evidence to prove the 
existence of priestly kings. At Rome the king was supposed 
to hold communion with the gods of the community. He 
consulted them in times of emergency or on public concerns ; 
he appeased their wrath. These functions were called auspicia 
publica. He also nominated all the priests and priestesses. 
Apparently similar duties devolved upon the kings of Lanu- 
vium, Tusculum and Bovillae. 

But Greece, in this, .as in other matters, furnishes the Greece, 
most copious material for determining the sacerdotal 
functions of the king. The sacrificial aspect of the king's 
position in Homer is very marked in time of war, and recalls 
the beliefs and practices of the most primitive periods. The 
general levied animals for the public sacrifice. King 
Agamemnon offered up victims on behalf of the assembled 
host, before a battle or at a funeral. 2 He observed the flight 
of birds or other signs. The tent of the general or com- 
mander-in-chief is the centre not only for war councils and 
other deliberations, but also for public sacrifice. Here 

1 The power of the religious sentiment as a factor in the influence of 
the barbarian or savage chief finds an apt illustration in the results of 
missionary enterprise. Unless a chief converted to Christianity carries 
his subjects with him his power is almost always destroyed. 

2 Iliad \\\. 271-275, 292-296; xix. 191, 198, 250-268. Cf. xxiii. 166-183 J 
Odyss. iii. 36-50, 378-394 ; xxiv. 481-494. The passages in Iliad i. 458, 474, 
might be cited in opposition to this view because the sacrifice is celebrated 
by a priest. It must be remembered, however, that it is a family affair. 
So too in India. Leist, Graco-italische Rechtsgeschichte, p. 124; and 
Scandinavia, Robiou, Questions Homtriques^ p. 91. 


omens were taken. Here the victims were slaughtered and 
their entrails inspected. 
The kingiy At this point 3. brief digression may be allowed in order to 

sacrifice & , J 

an , observe that the sacerdotal functions are ultimately trace- 

evolution * 

household a kl e to t ^ ie domestic sacrifice performed by the father in a 
sacrifice. Greek or Italian family, for, as has already been seen, what 
the father is in the household, namely, the natural protector 
of the interests of the family and its representative before 
heaven, such is the king in the household of the community. 
The householder offered up the daily sacrifice with his wife, 
children and slaves gathered round him. The family hearth 
is the family altar, their patron goddess is the hoary Vesta 
or Hestia. 

The same features are reproduced in the sacred offices 

worship ^ e ^ k v the king. This is indicated by several terms in 

Greek and Latin which are associated with the maintenance 

flame'It"* 1 f public worship on behalf of the state. At Athens the 

Athens, eternal flame was kept burning in the Trpvraveiov, a term 

which bears a clear connection with the institution of the 

king. For a passage in Suidas 1 goes to prove that the word 

irpvravK in the time of an old chronicler (\oyoypd<f>o<;) was 

applied to the Spartan kings. Its derivation points in the 

same direction, attesting its association with the king. For 

there can be no doubt that it contains the same root as 

the Sanskrit prathdma, "first," the Greek TT/OO/AO?, " foremost 

man," Trpwro?, " first " and the Latin primus, " first." 3 

To return to the Trpvravelov, it may be safely concluded 
that originally the centre of worship was the king's tent. It 
was consecrated to 'Earia, the goddess of the hearth. 3 There 
the perpetual flame was kept alight. Thence in historic 
times colonists, on going to seek their fortunes in other 
climes, conveyed fire for the hearths of their new home. 4 

1 Cf. Fustel de Coulanges, La Cite antique iii. c. 9, i. 

2 The Aeolic form is Trporavis. Cf. Curtius, 6>. Etym., 380. 
: Pindar, N. ii. i. 

4 Theseus in combining the several townships of Athens (see p. 299) 
established a common Trpvravelov. Thuc. ii. 15. 


The reader need hardly be reminded that a similar institu- in Rome, 
tion existed at Rome. The royal castle (regia domus) was 
used for religious purposes. It was situated on the Sacred 
Way, which led through the Forum. 1 It was'associated with 
King Numa, the religious reformer and pre-eminent saint of 
the Roman Calendar. Here the sacrifices were held. Here 
the pontifex resided and the priests met in solemn conference, 
while in the temple of Vesta hard by, the ignis foci publici 
sempiternus, " the eternal fire of the public hearth," was 
watched by the Vestal Virgins without intermission. The 
poet Ovid has sung of the hallowed associations of the 
spot : 

haec est a sacris quae via nomen habet ; 

hie locus est Vestae, qui Pallada servat et ignem ; 
hie fuit antiquae regia parva Numse. 2 

The kings were expelled, but the fire continued to burn. 
After their abolition the sacred flame of Vesta and the 
Vestal Virgins continued. The sacrificial duties were main- 
tained, and the term rex preserved in the title rex sacrificulus, 
or " high priest." - 

It is not surprising that the special solemnity which at- 
tended the sacrificial duties attaching to the kingly position 
tended to throw power into the hands of the holder of the 
office. They conspired to invest him with a halo of super- 
natural sanctity. But the king did not owe his sacred 
character to this consideration alone. 

The kingdom, like the family, is a divine institution. The 
king is sprung of the race of Zeus, &o<yei/?7<?. 8 Not that the 
epithet implied actual descent, but it suggested that the king 

1 The remains of the Regia or Domus publica, as it was also called, 
have been unearthed between the temples of Vesta and Faustina in the 

2 Tristia iii. i, 30. "This is the way which takes its name from the 
solemnities (Sacra Via). Here is the seat of Vesta, which guards Pallas 
and the eternal flame ; here stood the little palace of old Numa." Cf. 
Fasti, vi. 264. The remains of the temple of Vesta were discovered in 

3 CK 8e Aioy pa<ri\rjcs, Hesiod, Theog. 96. 


was ordained and upheld by that god. He is nurtured by 
him, Biorpecf)^. 1 He is, therefore, learned in the interpreta- 
tion of the counsel and oracles of the Olympians, dew airo 

Jce e treand Neither were the insignia of royalty, rude as they were in 

c t Jn S c i f nifi " ear ly days, devoid of significance. Under the influence of 

the Eastern empires the regalia increased in variety, but in 

the first instance they were at once few in number and of the 

The simplest character. The sceptre, the solitary symbol borne 

emblem of * Q . . . > 

a warrior by the Homeric kmgs, d is interesting, because it affords an 
insight into the origin of the kingly office, and also the 
views entertained towards it. The primary meaning of the 
word cncfjirTpov is "staff," 4 and it retains the meaning in 
Homer side by side with the meaning of " sceptre." A 
beggar carries a o-Kfjirrpov as well as a king. But we must 
entirely dissociate in our minds the Homeric staff or wand 
from the short and decorated sceptre of the East, or its 
lineal representative in modern Europe. Rather, the early 
sceptre was a lance or spear. This takes back our thoughts 
to the warrior kings, and in matter of fact various writers 
bear direct testimony to that effect. We have it on the 
authority of Justin 5 that the early Roman kings used to 
carry a spear (hasta}. & 

its magic Further, it is clear that the sceptre was credited with 


magical properties, and in consequence was regarded with 
superstitious reverence. Had not Agamemnon received his 
sceptre from the hands of Zeus himself? 7 It was a vivid 
and imposing expression as well as the instrument of his 
power. 8 The historian and antiquarian Pausanias informs 

Od. iii. 480. Cf. iv. 184, 569. 

2 vi. 12. 

3 They are described as o-mprrovxot. 

4 Cf. (TKrjTrdviov, Albanian Ikop^ Latin scamnum. 

5 xliii. 3. Per ea adhuc tempora reges hastas pro diademate habebant, 
quas Graeci sceptra dixere. Cf. Bucholz, Die horn. Realien iii. (i), p. 9. 

6 All this recalls a martial age and the warlike purpose for which the 
kingly power was originated. 

"> Iliad i. 38, 97. 

8 Iliad \\. 46, 85, 6, 101-7, 185, 6. 


us that Agamemnon's sceptre was at Chaeronea an object of 
worship. 1 

It stands to reason that one entrusted with so solemn a 
duty as the performance of public sacrifice, and equipped kmgs 
with so sacred an emblem as the sceptre was placed in an P< 
exceptional position for impressing the imagination of a 
primitive people. The result was that the person of the king 
was regarded as sacred and inviolable, and an offence against 
him or one of his blood was a heinous offence in the sight 
of gods and men : 

Sewov 8c evos JacnAiov COTIV 

If in times of peace the royal person suffered detriment, 
the offence could be summarily dealt with ; if in the field 
anyone raised his hand against him the king could peremp- 
torily order the execution of the offender. Even criticism of 
his acts is considered reprehensible. 

There remains for consideration another office which the ? he * hird 

function ot 

king had to discharge as the head of the community. He f s ^"-^ h e e 

presided at public trials. But as the judicial functions of 

the king and his assessors call for special notice, they will 

be treated elsewhere in greater detail. Meanwhile, it may 

be observed that this was one of his original duties. This is Italy. 

evident from Italian sources, which, however, do not afford 

a picture of the king so sharp in outline and so explicit and 

vivid in detail as do the poems of Homer. In Italy he 

possessed judicial powers ; for in war as in peace he was 

accompanied by the " messengers " or lictors a symbol of 

his power to inflict the death perlalty. He sat in judgment 

in all private and criminal suits ; he could even doom a 

burgess to slavery or to banishment. 3 

Hardly less power resided in the hands of his counterpart H r e c e e ric 
in Greece. He likewise has the power of judging, and is 

1 TOVTO OVV TO (TKTJTrTpOV (Tf'/SoWTt 86pV OVOp.doVTfS t lx. 4O, 6. 

2 Odyss. xvi. 401, " It is a fearful thing to slay one of the race of kings." 

3 Tanaquil as reported in Livy i. 1 1 and 40 promises jura redditurum 
obiturumque alia regis munia. 


or fleyitKrroTroXo?, one who gives dooms (Si/ecu) or 
ordinances (fle/^ore?). 1 He has the right of imposing fines, 
for such is probably the meaning of 0e/u" T6 ? m a passage in 
the Iliad? These fines are paid to the king in the capa- 
city of judge. In short, he is the embodiment of judicial 

As * t^ 6 source from which the judicial power of the king 
was derived, it may not be doubted that this was directly 

of the those traceable to his position as protector of the community. 

holler. Ultimately, however, it should probably be referred to the 
paternal power, from which, as we saw, his sacrificial 
functions emanated. The protection which the father, pater, 
irarrip, pitar, ensures to the members of his family, is in like 
manner guaranteed by the king in the community. He is 
the guardian of the lives and property of the public, and in 
that capacity must see that justice is done to all without 
fear or favour. The whole of the administrative powers of 
the king, legislative, judicial and executive, only afford 
another illustration of the truth that the primitive mind 
recognized no distinction between these three departments 
of thought. 

The king's From the kingly powers which have hitherto occupied our 

limited, attention it will be seen that the early king, whether in 
Greece or Italy, was a powerful personage. It would be a 
mistake, however, to suppose that the king enjoyed unlimited 
power. To some extent the restrictions to which he was 
bound have been borne in upon our minds, as we traced the 
history of the king. Whatever sanctity encircled his person 
in these countries, he owed it not to a belief in his super- 
natural origin, though courtly chroniclers might weave into 
his history stories of his superhuman descent, but to the 
belief that the office which he held enjoyed a supernatural 
sanction and lay under divine protection. 

onthe pius There is extant a passage from Procopius which has a 


1 Iliad \ .237 ; ii. 204 ; and Hymn to Demeter v. 103. 

2 ix. 156. 


bearing upon this point. Speaking of the Slavs he 
observes : 

TO. yap tOvrj raura, 3iKXa(3r)voi re feat "Avrai, OVK ap^ovrai irpos ai/8po? 
evos, aAA' ev 8r)fjLOKpaTia CK TraXatov ftiortvovcrc KOL Sia TOVTO avrois rwv 
irpay/AaTwi/ del ra T v/x<opa Kai TOL Sv'o-KoXa cs KOIVOI/ aycTcu. 1 

Yet, on the other hand, there is proof 2 that the Slavs 
were governed by kings. The truth is that the discrepancy The 
is only apparent, and the inconsistency will disappear when 
we bear in mind that supreme power in most Aryan states 
was vested in the people. The assent of the commonalty re 
was necesssary to the validity of a law, and the judicial 
authority belonged, in theory at least, to the citizens col- 
lectively. They were the fountain of honour and the source 
of power. We are then warranted in supposing that the 
the Slav, with his characteristic conservatism, retained up 
to comparatively modern times a dual form of government 
which had formerly been a recognized principle and a regular 
institution among races akin to his own. 

The jealousy with which the rights of the community 
were safe-guarded and limits imposed upon the exercise of 
power, find expression in a variety of ways. The " blame- Tradition 
less king " (apvutov), according to the portrait drawn by |^c? P 1 e 
Homer, 3 must be influenced by a desire to promote the [ n ^ 
welfare of his subjects. But he is not left entirely to his 
own initiative. There are tfe/uo-Tt?, ordinances, to guide 
him, and by this standard he can measure himself. He 
must study TO aiaipov, "what is right and fitting." He must 
be mild and gentle towards those whom the gods have en- 
trusted to his care. Under his beneficent rule the people 

1 B.C. iii. 14 (quoted by Schrader, Reallex^ p. 442). "For these 
nations, both Slavs and Antae, are not ruled by one man, but live in a 
democracy from of old. And for this reason their measures, whether 
expedient or obnoxious, are brought forward for common consultation." 

2 Cf. p. 305. 

3 Odyss, xix. 109. Afterwards this term became an honorary title like 
" illustrious." It is even applied to ^Egisthos i. 29. It must be re- 
membered, however, that such epithets as dp,vpo>v, applied to kings in 
Homer, denoted power rather than merit. Cf. Welcker's Theognis, 
Prolegom., 9-12 ; Grote ii. 64, n. 



will prosper and the crops flourish. Such are the qualities 
necessary for an ideal king. 1 

But provision must be made against the possible enormi- 
ties of individuals in power, and the people shrank from 
lodging inalienable authority in the king's hands. Accord- 
ingly the following precautions were employed to check 
inordinate pretensions and to control the royal prerogative. 
tut?onai ^ ne restr i ct i n l av m the appointment of two kings. This 
u h on k the measure betrays the suspicion of unworthy holders of the 
^ng. kingly office, and a desire to guard against any contingency. 
It is by no means confined to Aryan races. The actuating 
principle stands out conspicuously at Carthage. That 
un-Aryan commonwealth preserved two relics of kingship in 
the office of Suffetes. These officials were selected on one 
day from two distinct families in order that they might be 
divided by various animosities and mutually enfeebled. But 
more to the purpose, as belonging to an Aryan community, 
is the case of Sparta, where the appointment of two kings 
was part of the constitution of the state. A like prudence 
doubtless dictated the course of electing two consuls at 
Rome, from fear of lodging supreme power in the hands of 
one person who might prove an autocrat and plot to over- 
throw popular liberties. 2 But the above-mentioned instances 
belong more to historic times. 

Assessors. Usually the same end was secured by associating with the 
king a certain number of counsellors who might both aid 
him with their advice and serve as a salutary check upon 
ambitious schemers. These assessors are in some cases 
called /3ao-tXefr, "kings," 3 in others 177771-0/36? rjBe fjueSovres, 
11 rulers and counsellors." 4 

For the origin of this body of advisers we have to go back 

1 Odyss. ii. 229. 

2 The Indian king's assessors bore the significant title of spd$as, or 

3 Odyss. vii. 49, 55 ; viii. 391 ; vi. 54 ; Iliad 'ii. 188. 

4 From a root med, meaning " to measure," " consider." Cf. 
meditari; /u^Soy, f*i}rtf, nyo-rap ' p-erpov, p.rjv. 


to the earliest ages. It must be remembered that the kingly The 
office was, generally speaking, elective and the king was of the 

i r ~-i ... original 

only first among equals. The primitive settlement suggests settie- 
to the mind a picture of the following description. In the 
centre rose the chiefs tent. 1 Around it clustered the dwell- 
ing of the chiefs of the clans, of the brotherhoods, and at a 
later stage, of the tribes. But in process of time the chiefs e h g e inning 
acquired an official position, for as the community grew in [ ^^^ 
size and importance, a formal council was constituted for counci) - 
the discharge of public business. Under their functions 
were included the reception of embassies, the discussion of 
treaties and the administration of justice. Still, the popular 
assembly is nominally supreme. 

So much for the class from which the assessors were or whom 
drawn. We are led on to inquire into the special qualifica- 
tions for the office of counsellor, and the observations 
previously made on the position of the aged 2 in early society 
come to our aid. No technical term for this privy council, 
like /3oi\7/, has yet established itself or won recognition. 
But in the yepovres, who are frequently mentioned by Homer, 
we trace the elements of the future yepovaia, which, as we 
have seen, was a characteristic of Dorian states, and was 
similar to the senatus of Rome. We have seen already the 
respect cherished or at any rate the growth of respect for 
age in Homer ; the venerable sage becomes the valued coun- 
sellor. We meet not only with the terms "jepovres ftovXevral 
and vepovo-ios op/co<?, the oath which the aged counsellors took, 
but even yepoixrios olvos, the wine that they drank at their 
common meal, all of which point to the prominence given to 
the aged in public deliberations. 

The term <yepa>v had by the age whose manners are 
depicted by Homer evidently begun to change its meaning. 
It does not stand to reason that the yepovres present in the 
Greek army at Troy had reached middle life ; on the contrary, 

1 Cf. p. 316. 

* Ch. xiv., pp. 181 183. 


it would seem that Nestor alone had attained to a venerable 
age. The conclusion forces itself upon the mind, therefore, 
that by the time of the Homeric period the word had come 
to denote an office-bearer. 1 

The The idea of a popular assembly, then, is a fundamental 

and growth principle of the Aryan mind. It is possible to trace its 
popular growth from its slender beginnings. That the 76^09 and 

assembly. b i / ./ 

gens, the (frparpia and cuna, the cpiA,?/ and tnbus t were in the 

habit of meeting together for deliberation has been shown in 
the description of the buildings where their assemblies were 
held. But with the lapse of time these smaller gatherings 
were merged in the larger assemblies to which the people as 
a whole was convoked, with a view to deciding upon impor- 
tant issues both in peace and war. The unprogressive 
Macedonians retained this practice, says Curtius: 

",De capitalibus rebus vetusto Macedonum modo inquirebat exercitus : 
in pace erat vulgi." 2 

Theoretically, therefore, the community itself embodied the 
idea of a sovereign state. 

itaiy. The development of representative government in Italy 

must in the absence of documentary evidence for in this, 
as in other respects, the memorials are scanty rest rather 
upon conjecture than historical evidence; but it appears 
from the evidence at our command that in the first instance 
the king was appointed by the suffrages of the whole people. 

Homer. The Homeric poems present to view a clear picture of the 
methods of government in heroic Greece, but they reveal a 
state of transition, a departure from the primitive methods 
of an earlier day. The poet's account is interesting rather 
for the evidence it affords of the encroachment by the king 
and aristocratic families on the liberties of the people. 

1 This development of "old man" into "office-bearer" may be 
paralleled in other countries : German, aldermann ; English, alderman ; 
Slavonic, starost. 

2 vi. 8, 25. "The army used to investigate matters affecting civil 
rights, according to the ancient custom of the Macedonians ; in time of 
peace the prerogative belonged to the commons." 


The general assembly in heroic times was called the 
ayopd, 1 was convoked by the king, and nominally expected 
to concur in public measures. It was attended by the 
soldiers of all ranks in time of war, by the commons in time 
of peace. Yet, though the populace enjoy the right of being 
present, they take no part in the public deliberations, and 
remain passive and acquiescent spectators of the scene. The 
speaker addresses himself to the chief men. If a commoner 
interposes he incurs a severe rebuke. He must rest satisfied 
with expressing assent or dissent by applauding, murmuring 2 
or stamping with his feet. 

To review the conclusions to which we have been brought summary. 
by the facts noticed in this chapter. Throughout the whole 
web of Aryan government, as contemplated in early Greek 
or Italian society, runs the antagonism between the native 
spirit of freedom and the necessity for a centralization of 
power. Unlike a Menephtah in Egypt, a Nebuchednezzar in 
Assyria, or a Darius in Persia, or, again, an Alexander of 
Macedon, 3 a product of a later age and mixed blood, and 
imbued with Eastern ideas, the simple and primitive rex of 
Italy and /3a(nXeu<? of Greece was far from aspiring to a 
universal sovereignty or an unbounded despotism, of which 
Asia has often been the seat. The reason is not obscure; 
it lies in the characteristic conceptions of the genesis of the 
institution of king which prevailed in the East and the West. 
For the oriental the history of his country went back to an 
immemorial antiquity, when the gods had walked the earth 
and wielded earthly sceptres in untroubled stability. A 

, "gather together," "convoke." Like the Latin ybr//;;/ it was 
applied to the "market place" where business was transacted, trade 
carried on, and public questions debated. 

2 E.g. Iliad i. 50. Cf. Tacitus, Germ. c. 1 1 ; Caesar, De Bell. Gall. 
vii. 21 ; Schrader, Reallex., p. 924, compares the Old Norse VCipnatak. 
The assembly could not without irregularity be convened in the evening. 
Odyss. iii. 138. Cf. Cicero, Phil. iii. 10, 24, vespertina senatus cotisulfa. 

3 Post haec Alexander habitum regum Persarum et diadema insolitum 
antea regibus Macedonicis, velut in leges eorum, quos vicerat, transiret, 
assumit. Justin, xii. 3 ; Bucholz i. (ij, p. 8 ; S. Eckhel, Doctr. numm. i., 
P- 235- 


Pharaoh or a Xerxes succeeded them, and he also in his turn 
had a divine mission to fulfil ; he surrounded himself with 
material pomp and circumstance, and received religious 
homage at the hands of his subjects. His voice was the 
voice of a god. In the Aryan, on the other hand, the sense 
The of freedom was inherent from the outset. The expulsion of 

essentially the Roman kings, the overthrow of tyrants in Greece, were 
cratic. expressions of a deep-rooted principle rather than passing 
phases in the history of the Roman or Greek mind. What 
we see, then, in Greece and in Italy, so far as the meagre 
materials enable us to discover them, is this : The elementary 
organizations, beginning with the clan, which are demo- 
cratic in their essence, choose out one man of their own 
number to rule over them. In some places the choice is 
limited to a few families. To their representative the com- 
munity entrusts supreme power, so long as he proves himself 
Kii of and e( l ua l to the task and faithful to his trust. But he is only 
ar? s g to- nd ^ rst amon g his fellows. Although supreme in time of war, 
cracy. even to the extent of possessing power of life and death, his 
authority in time of peace is reduced to slender dimensions. 
The most prominent personages in the tribe are at his side ; 
they share his authority, assist him with their counsel and 
curb his ambition. Time passes ; the kingly families die 
out, degenerate or decay, but the abolition or decline of 
royalty was an injury rather than a service to the cause of 
popular freedom. The supreme authority in the state or 
community becomes the monopoly of the noble families, and 
in some cases the influence of wealth is substituted for the 
power of blood. The unavoidable relult is seen in an 
aristocracy, exercising power with more or less rigour, 
oppressing according to their opportunities, and permitting 
no person, however distinguished, to hold any office unless a 
member of their own class. The excesses of an oligarchy 
provoke in its turn a reaction, and a collision ensues. The 
democratic spirit, so long dormant, reasserts itself, sweeps 
away political privilege, and the era of democracy in Greece 
and republicanism in Rome has begun. Such changes as 


we have here recapitulated are foreshadowed even in the 
earliest records. Already liberal ideas have begun to spread ; 
the kingly power betrays evidences of decline and the respect 
for the sanctity of time-honoured institutions is fading away. 
If we may argue from the analogy presented by other races, 
and the indirect evidence afforded by the position of the 
rex sacrificulus and flamen dialis, or priest of Jupiter, the 
process of transformation at Rome from monarchy to a 
republic set in at an early period, but was effected gradually. 
The tenour of the Roman annals runs thus : the king ceases 
to be the actual head, becomes a titular sovereign, and finally 
contents himself with being the ritual head of the state, and a 
shadow of his former self. The Homeric epics reveal a 
similar transition, but a less complete reversal of the king's 
status. The glory of the ancient line of Achaean kings is 
departing. A tone of sadness pervades even the Iliad, 
probably the earlier of the two Homeric poems, as if the old 
order was passing away, and the veneration for the kingly 
office was waning. No longer is the king Sioyevris or SioTpctfrris ; 
he is Sa)po(f>dyo<; not a descendant of gods but a devourer of 
gifts. 1 His power has been circumscribed by the noble 
families. Even the commons venture to sit in his presence, 
and a Thersites dares raise his voice in opposition. Though, 
it is true, this demagogue is contemptuously set aside and 
roughly handled for his pains, both his language and the 
attitude of his chastiser bear evidence at once that a critical 
spirit is rising and that it forces itself upon the attention 
in a manner that accepts no denial. It is with a tone of 
bitterness, born of rueful experience of a multiplicity of 
counsels, that Odysseus exclaims : 

OVK ayaOov iroXvKotpavirj' t<; Ktnpavos 
Is /?a<riA.evs, <j> ISco/ce Kpovou Trats 

1 Hesiod, Works and Days, 219, 262. Cf. 8ij/io/3dpoy, "a grinder of the 
people." Iliad 1.231. 

3 Iliad \\. 204. "A multitude of masters is no good thing ; let there 
be one master, one king, to whom the son of Cronos, crooked in counsel, 
hath granted it." 

3 28 



social WHATEVER the fortunes of the Aryans may have been before 

disorder in > J - / 

^e earliest they made their appearance on the scene of history, we shall 
be hazarding no conjecture in assuming that the conditions 
tarly" ^ tne ^ r ^ e before they settled in Greece or Italy, and 
Sa c iy! e and * r a l n & ^ me a ^ ter tne i r settlement, were troubled and 
fluctuating. It was a time of agitation and disorder, of strain 
and distress. As we have already seen, hunger drove the 
sturdiest of them onward to seek fresh fields, and with the 
unerring instinct which has guided the races of the North in 
all ages, they pursued a Southerly direction, where nature 
offered temptations of various kinds to settle in stable 
habitations. It was a time, too, when the migratory hordes 
were compelled to fight for their subsistence and for their 
very life with the beasts or men whom they found in 
possession of the territory to which they migrated. After- 
wards began the settlement in their new homes. We may 
not suppose that this task was peacefully accomplished, 
but rather that the ebb and flow continued. They were 
constantly engaged in wars of extermination with the 
previous occupants of the country or in petty or border 
warfare among themselves. Of the latter Thucydides 
speaks. 1 The people, he says in effect, were migratory ; they 
readily left their homes when overpowered by numbers, and 

1 i. 2-12 

LAW 329 

intercourse among each other was unsafe. The richest 
districts most of all were constantly changing their 
inhabitants. Even after the Trojan war Greece was still in 
process of fermentation, and had no time for peaceful growth. 
The return of the Greeks from the siege of that city, after 
their long absence, led to many changes ; quarrels, too, arose 
in nearly every city and expulsions ensued. Accordingly a 
long time elapsed before Greece became finally settled. 
Such are the conclusions to which the historian was driven 
by the irresistible logic of facts. It may not be doubted 
that Italy could tell the same tale of restlessness and 
unsettlement. Under these conditions a strong, patriotic 
spirit and a feeling of unity was fostered, which, again, could 
not fail to produce a respect for authority and order, as 
affording the only guarantee of security of life, of property, 
of internal peace and the freedom of the individual. But 
for any fixed code of laws or harmonized system of juris- v f a e g a u r j ncss 
prudence we look in vain, and it is still a far cry to the laws J^on?" 
of Lycurgus, or the Twelve Tables, of which the style is 
unambiguous and the directness unquestionable. The same 
phenomenon which we noticed in discussing the questions 
of property, and which indeed marks the early stages of 
human history in general, meets us here, namely, a great 
indefiniteness. As we saw in the last chapter, political and confusion 

...... . J . . . . with 

religious institutions and law also, are in primitive society religion, 
so inextricably intertwined that it becomes almost impossible 
to unravel them. The Sanskrit vocabulary furnishes us 
with examples of this confusion. D karma t Cigas and rna, 
which include law, custom and religious rite, 1 show that 
their respective spheres had not been clearly defined, and 
that they still overlapped each other. Accordingly in the 
region of law the gods are constantly invoked and are as 
constantly interposing to promote (or to pervert) the ends of 
justice. The blood of the slain cries to heaven for vengeance. 
Perjury is left to the gods to decide, the purification of the 

Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 180. 


The guilty becomes a religious question. As time went on, 

nation the provinces of religion and law were duly discriminated. 

1S employed to express the punishment of the 
offender by heaven, or by a judge, ultio to convey the 
meaning of the gratification of revenge. But these 
distinctions belong to a much later period, and are the 
outcome of the accumulated experience of thousands of 
years. 1 

But a further question opens upon us. It is idle to try to 
fix the precise time or to determine accurately the several 
steps by which these distinctions were drawn. That at a 
very early period, perhaps even before the separation of the 
Aryan races, legal terms assumed a religious garb, is evident 
from what has been said previously. But whether primitive 
law was associated with religion, for example, whether it 
was placed under the patronage of tutelary divinities, does 
not appear, and the difficulties that beset such a theory are 
not slight. The very opposite, indeed, appears to be the 
truth. The fact is, that the early gods, such as those which 
appear in the Vedas, 3 who represent, as will be seen later, 
the phases or personified powers of nature, possess no ethical 
characteristics, or, if they possess any, these are of a 
superficial character. The god is powerful and mighty, it is 
true ; he can be a friend, he may be propitiated by prayers 
or even brought under a spell. But as yet the gods are not 
described as favouring well-doing or frowning upon mis- 

^ would appear, therefore, that the religious aspect of 
a h priest- f ^ aw was em p na sized, if not originated, by means of the 
hood - ascendency of a priesthood, and this class only acquired an 
n "|j| nceof importance in the social fabric at a comparatively late 
hooef ii? 8 *" period. Among the lower races generally and proportionately 
times. among those, like the Aryans, who stood once on a low level 

1 The plays of ^Eschylus are peculiarly rich in expressions of the 
religious aspect of justice. Cf. for example such words as 

Eum. 40. 

2 Schrader, Reallex. 660 ; Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, 659. 

LAW 331 

of civilization, the priesthood is far from being an important 
institution. In a stage of social sentiment where there are 
no temples, the necessity for the existence of a priesthood 
does not arise, and such a state of society the Aryans must 
have presented. It is not uncommon to find, for instance, 
that races which are in other respects progressive enough, 
are yet backward in the matter of religious ritual. Agricul- 
ture may be practised, abodes may be permanently fixed, but 
sacred buildings and attendants upon them may still be 
unknown. The origin of the priesthood in primitive society 
must be sought elsewhere. It would appear that special 
proficiency as sorcerers and diviners in those days marked 
men out for the performance of sacred functions. The 
medicine or mystery man glided into the priest. 

To the state of civilization here outlined the condition of Greece, 
the early Greeks and Italians in a large measure corresponded. 
The tradition ran, that the oldest inhabitants of Hellas, the 
Pelasgians, had no names for their gods and inquired of the 
oracle at Dodona, the primitive and meteorological farmer's 
oracle whether they were to adopt the names which they 
learnt from the Egyptians. 1 After this manner the early it^y- 
Romans worshipped ; they had no temples, and their gods 
and goddesses had neither name nor image. In short, these 
divinities were nature-powers not endowed with human form. 

The position of the priest in the Homeric poems accords Homer. 
with the above description. It is clear that in the age 
described by the poet the priest was an unimportant 
personage. He stands in the background and the shadow. 
Ever and anon we catch glimpses of a temple or of a grove 
to which a priest was attached ; the attendant priest or 
priestess is revered and protected from harm. 2 Still, there 
are no organized bodies and the priest of one shrine has no 
established connection with that of any other. 3 

1 Herod, ii. 52. 

- Iliad v. 76 ; xvi. 604. Odyss. i. 200. 

3 The nearest approach to anything in the form of a caste appears 
in Iliad ix. 574 and vi. 300. These passages might be thought to lend 
colour to the theory, but they are really inconclusive. 


mentof h " ^* ne insignificance of the priest in early ages calls for no 

pro e v s in?? f abstruse explanation. It has already been shown that the 

h h pw h er u a s n e d nead of tne household performed sacrifice on behalf of the 

king - family, and this duty was not in early days delegated to an 

outside official. Further, it was also made clear that the 

king undertook the fulfilment of certain religious functions 

on behalf of the public. But in process of time the 

priesthood rose into importance and encroached upon the 

prerogatives both of the head of the house and the head of 

the state. 

HOW The question then arises, how the priests were enabled 

accom- x * 

pushed. t o acquire so much power, and various reasons may be 
assigned, each containing an element of truth. It is 
difficult entirely to acquit priests and soothsayers in early 
Greece and Italy of the charge of deception. 1 But other 
influences co-operated in producing or confirming their 
ascendency. The increase in the number of duties 
devolving upon the king, the eventual appropriation of 
religious offices by the noble orders, the interpretation of signs 
and omens, which in process of time passed into the charge 
of the priests, all these causes conspired to throw power into 
their hands ; the monopoly, however, was not won without a 
struggle, and the pages of Homer afford occasional glimpses 
of resistance being offered to sacerdotal aggression. 3 But 
whatever part the priest may have played, and whatever the 
influence he may have wielded in imparting a religious 
complexion to legal institutions, it is certain that law in 

1 ^Eschylus, Agani. 1196; Sophocles, O. T. 475; Eurip., Iphig. in 
Aulis, 520; Electra, 400. Cf. Iliad xxiv. 220. 

3 This circumstance constituted an essential difference between the 
Greek and the Asiatic or Egyptian, who has ever been enslaved to a 
priestly system. The reasons are not far to seek. First, in the East and 
in Egypt the priests combined in their own persons various scientific and 
literary functions, as well as those of a religious nature. They were at 
once the scientists, the soothsayers, the physicians, the poets and the 
literary men of the country. Secondly, the Eastern temperament lent 
itself to imposition and invited dictation. Uniformity and repose were 
the chief characteristics of the Eastern mind ; independence, restlessness 
and self-assertion of the Greek. 

LAW 333 

course of time received a divine sanction and became 
invested with the solemnities of religion. Still, making all 
allowances for later development in the direction of super- 
natural sanction, the conclusion is forced upon the mind 
that the conceptions of right, law, and justice were originally 
the outcome of social conditions and social requirements 
alone, and came into existence for reasons utterly uncon- 
nected with religion. 

There is another preliminary consideration which has to The origin 

of law. 

be kept in mind beside the question of the intermingling 
influences of religion and law at a later time. That is to 
say, law is an evolution of custom. The undifferentiated 
Aryans, as has already been seen, had not attained to any 
abstract conception of law nor even to the rudiments of a 
legal science indeed, as a race they displayed little genius 
for jurisprudence but at the same time they possessed a 
substitute for legal systems in traditional customs. The truth 
is that this supremacy of unwritten custom is by no means 
confined to the Aryans. The savage is nowhere free ; customs, 
privileges and prohibitions hem him in on every side. 
Nor must it be supposed that these traditional regulations 
by which unprogressive races are guided are less stringent 
because they are unwritten. 1 On the contrary, savages and 
barbarians are hedged in by a thousand conventions, all of a 
more or less tyrannical nature, and history testifies that such 
traditional principles, handed down from father to son and 
from generation to generation, suffice for communities which 
are still living on a primitive plane of culture. 

Throughout the early development of the Aryan races, so custom 
far as the material available admits of our forming an law. 
opinion, we discern a gradual trend or tendency, at first 
vague and undefinable, but gradually gaining in distinctness, 
by which custom crystallizes and takes shape in law. The 
result is that, step by step, arbitrary rules are superseded by 
fixed principles. This gradual transition from unwritten 

1 Cf. Lubbock, Origin of Civilization > 445. 


custom to written law is mirrored in language. Antecedently, 
Among in view of the characteristic conservatism of the Slavs, which 
we have frequently had occasion to notice, it might be 
surmised that the Slavs would illustrate this line of develop- 
ment. Such actually proves to be the case. The Slavonic 
zakonu, from signifying " custom," " use," comes to bear the 
further signification of law. The same phenomenon presents 
itself to view in the history of the mental growth of a nation, 
which is the very antipodes of the Slavonic, that is, the 
Greeks, Greek. The word vopos l does not occur in Homer, and 

anV ar when it first makes its appearance it bears the meaning of 
custom. The fuller phrase, Z/O/AO? dypafos* was employed 
by the orators and philosophers of Greece in the sense of the 
laws of nature or the moral law, 3 or with the same meaning 
as our expression " common law " (i.e. laws of custom). 4 
Even in the time of Draco, the Athenian legislator, vo^o? 
had not yet acquired the signification of written law, for his 
celebrated code is described as consisting of 0eoyW, that is, 
ordinances sanctioned by the gods. 5 In matter of fact, the 
use of vo/jLo? in the sense of law only dates from the time of 
Cleisthenes, who removed most of the safeguards against 
democracy which Solon had instituted. 6 The truth is z>o//,o? 
is not the only example of the transition of meaning. Under 
the same category falls the Sanskrit dhdrma-, which meant 
first of all " custom," " right," " virtue," " course of con- 
duct," but afterwards acquired the meaning of "law," 
" prescription," and " law as a system." 7 But more will 

1 From the root vep, " to portion out " ; hence the idea of regulation, 
order, custom, and finally law. 

2 Cf. aypam-a i/dp/ici, Soph., Antig. 454. 

3 Cf. Demosth. 317, 23, roip dypd<pois vopois KOI rots 1 dv^panrivots fdecri. 

4 Plato, Laws 793A ; Arist., Rhet. i. 10, 3, and 13, 2. 

5 The ordinances of Lycurgus were called prjrpai, " saws," Tyrtaeus ii. 
8 ; Plut. Lye. 13. See more on this head under Qcpis below. 

6 Heraclides Ponticus, De Rep., remarks of the Lycians, vopois ov 
Xpa>vrai dXX' (Qca-t. Schrader, Reallex., p. 659, compares the Sanskrit 
svadha, " Ei'genart," " gewohnter Zustand " 

7 Lanman, Sanskrit Reader , p. 175. 

LAW 335 

have to be said on this point in its proper place. 1 The 
belief that there exists a close connection between some of 
the terms which have already come under our observation is 
further corroborated and derives special significance from 
the fact that the more precise phraseology which was 
originated at a later period by several races, in order to 
express newer and more refined ideas of law, differs in 
its linguistic structure. No connection can be traced, for 
example, between the Greek Sfaij and the Latin ius, nor is 
there any recognizable relation between i>6/*o? and lex. The 
explanation is obvious. They are the products of a later 
age. When legal ideas had diverged and developed differ- 
ently on Greek, Italian and Indian soil, customary law had 
passed into an obligatory code. 

But in spite of the difference in form some of these words Adaptation 

of old 

resemble each other in the way that they were adapted to ^ e ^ ds to 
the needs of society, as it grew in Italy and Greece, where conditions, 
voluminous bodies of laws couched in set formularies sup- 
planted the venerable laws of tradition. No/xo?, which 
previously meant merely " order," " custom," now comes to 
be used for " formal law." The same idea appears also in 
proper names, as in Numa, the name of the Roman king 
and legislator, 2 and in Numitor (Ne^erw/a). The history of 
the Latin lex reveals a like transition. The derivation of 
this word is merged in considerable uncertainty. It has 
been connected with the Latin lego, " gather." 3 According 
to this view it would suggest a collection of maxims. More 
probably, however, the idea is the same as that of ot Kelnevoi 
vofioi, laws " laid down." In that case it would correspond 
to the Sanskrit dhtiman, and the Greek 0e/u<? and 0t>uo-Te5, 
which come from TiBrj^i. So much on the early history of 

1 This transition from custom to law is also illustrated in the dialects 
of the Turco-Tatar tribes. See V.imbe'ry, Die Prim. Cultur des Turko- 
Tatar.Volkes, p. 138, on toka, tore and jail. 

2 Numa dictum est, aV6 r>v vdpuv. Serv. on Verg., sEnetdvi. 809. 

3 Cf. Brugmann, Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik, i. (2) i, 
p. 134 ; Schrader, Reallex., p. 659. 


legal terms. Yet, allowing for the diversity of race, circum- 
stances and usage, the study of law furnishes fresh points in 
the parallelism which exists between the development of the 
Greek and Italian races, while India also affords examples of 
a similar, if not a precisely parallel evolution. But though, 
as will be seen, the different stages overlap and glide into 
one another, yet the legal conceptions in both countries 
exhibit considerable confusion and almost defy discrimination. 

The earliest and most elementary term which foreshadows 
the future formation of a legal system is one which connotes 
the idea of fixity and order. This idea is occasionally 
conveyed by the Greek word /eoo>to?, as in the Iliad?- ov Kara 
KOO-/JIOV, " in unruly wise." The allusion is to Ares, and the 
occasion which called it forth was this. The goddess Hera 
lodged a complaint with Zeus, her spouse, against the god of 
war, for having destroyed a "goodly company of Achaians," 
and characterized his conduct as reckless and " knowing no 
law." 2 From this passage it would appear that a god could 
be guilty of violating this principle of order. But far more 
frequently the word 0e/u?, as will be seen below, is used in 
this sense. 

To the Greek /coa-po? the Latin word ratio corresponds, 
but the two words have no etymological connection with 
each other. Underneath the Latin term also lies the idea 
of fixity, 3 and it bears a comprehensive meaning. The 
original idea appears in Cicero's philosophical treatises, as, 
for example, in the De Natura, where ratio is employed to 
express the fixed course of the heavenly bodies : 

in omni aeternitate ratio immutabilisque cursus. 4 
This is not all. It is used to signify the eternal and 

2 Cf. 76l, OS OV TIVO, Ol8f 6ffJLL(TTa. 

'* The root is ra> "join," "dispose," "think," "reckon." Cf. reus, 
"accused" ; ratus, "having thought." See Festus, p. 274, 286. 

4 " 37> 95 "everlastingly fixed and unchangeable." Cf. ii. 20, 51 ; 
Tusc., Disp. v. 24, 69 ; Verr. ii. 2, 52 ; De Divin. ii. 7. 

LAW 337 

immutable order of the universe. 1 Afterwards it acquired 
the sense of reason. 3 Thus it will be seen that the term 
ratio covers a wide area, but the two central thoughts are 
the course of law that governed the heavenly bodies and that 
which gradually grew out of it, namely, the idea of law in 
relation to human life. 

Though unconnected, as regards form, with either of the The 
above terms, in meaning the Sanskrit word rtd- closely rt&.. 
corresponds to them. In some passages of Vedic literature 
it is employed to express the divisions of time and the 
agencies that divided these periods, that is, day and night, 
sun and moon. 3 In others it describes the order of human 
affairs, such as the division of the sexes, the institution of 
marriage, of property, the home, the king. 

The introduction of the next class of words betokens an etw and 
important advance. But they possess a further significance, 
inasmuch as a comparison of one of them with the 
terminology of Indian law suggests that they belong to 
a common inheritance of thought and are not merely, like 
ratio,rtd- and #607409 independent creations. The correspon- 
dence existing between Qejjus and dhdrma- is striking both 
as. regards form and meaning. The root is Sanskrit dhd, 

which also appears in TI'&J/U, " place," " lay." 4 Under the Sanskrit 
Sanskrit term dhdrma- lies the same idea of fixity, stability, 
order, which we met with in ^607409, ratio and r td (literally, 
that which holds its own, which endures). But dhdrma- 
embraces the several meanings of law, religion and morality, 
and no clear line of demarcation is drawn between their 
several spheres. This is exemplified by the contents of 

1 Cf. Zte Senect. xxi. 77 ; De Nat. ii. 14, 37. See Kaegi, Der Rigveda, 
164 ; Leist, Graecoitalische Rechtsgeschichte,^. 199, 200. 

2 Cf. Seneca, Ep. 66. 

3 Leist, Graecoital. Rechtsgesch.^ 188 ; Altar. Jus Gentium, 344, 346. 
The same author has pointed out on p. 346 the resemblance that exists 
between the ideas in some German legal terms and those contained in 
ratio and rtd-. 

4 Schrader, Reallex., p. 656, who compares the Avestan data-, " law/' 
and Modern Persian ddd, "justice." 



the Dharmaqastra, or " books of the law," which contain 
directions and traditional rules relating to each of these 
three departments of thought and action. 

Fas. TO return to Western institutions, the corresponding 

position to that of dhdrma- in India, is in Italy occupied by 
fas and in Greece by Be/us. 1 The etymology of the former 
is clear. It is traceable to the root fa, which is the primary 
element of such words as fan, " speak " ; fabula, " story " ; 
fanum, "shrine"; fatum, " expression of the will of the 
gods," " oracle," fate " ; and many other Latin words are 
referable to the same head. To this list may be added the 
Greek 0i?/u, " say " ; $^97, " report " ; <^a>^, " voice " ; 
and <ao-?, " information," " accusation." 3 In this term the 
religious aspect is most prominent. It suggests a divine 
decree which is communicated to men by means of seers, 
oracles and omens. Ultimately the Romans, after their 
characteristic fashion, widely developed the ritual side of fas. 

e > ls . The counterpart to this is the Greek 0e/cu9. Its linguistic 

connection with dhdrma- has already been noticed. Here 
the primary notion is that of laying down, ordaining, which 
also lies at the root of 0eo>w>9, " an ordinance." 3 It covers 
a part of the ground comprised by the term ratio. 
Accordingly we find it applied to the various relations of 
human life, as in a line of the Iliad, an allusion to the 
mutual relation of the sexes : 

rj 0/us di/0p(07T(oi>, ai/Spon/ ^Sc ywai/con/. 4 

1 Themin deam putabant esse, quae praeciperet hominibus id petere, 
quod fas esset, eamque id esse existimabant quod et fas est, Festus, 

p. 367. Prima deum Fas Quae Themis est Graiis, Auson. Idyll. 12. 


2 The latest view is that fas is infinitive, fasi, abbreviated to fas. The 
would come from nefasi est, " One may not mention," i.e. for fear of 

Or it might be a participle. Cf. Lucilius, "facta nefantia" 
" impious acts." It should be stated that fas has also been equated with 
Befjus (see below). 

3 Cf. the Old Bactrian ddmi, " wisdom." The word Bea-fios is applied 
properly to ancient ordinances which have received the divine sanction, 
and as used in Greek literature exhibits a striking correspondence with Homer, Odyss. xxiii. 296, employs it in speaking of the established 
rites of wedlock, and in a hymn ascribed to him (7, 16) speaks of 
dco-pot flpr)vr)s. Cf. Herod, iii. 31, and Liddell and Scott, in verb. 

4 ix. 134, 276, "as is the wont of mankind, even of men and women/' 

LAW 339 

So also in the Odyssey, where the subject is filial 
affection : 

KCIPO? irartpa irpwnrrvfcTCu, fj Oefjiis eoriV. 1 

But even here the aspect is religious rather than social. 
The union of the sexes and the affection between father and 
son, it is implied, are divine ordinances. The truth is, that, 
as a rule, the divine aspect of law is paramount wherever 
Oe/jiis is employed. 

The facts hitherto adduced will account for the per- 
sonification of the divine law among the Greeks, and this 
embodiment of the conception of divine law in a divine fSJf cter " 
person perfectly accords with the natural temperament of 
the race. We are struck here by the intrinsic contrast 
between the Greek and the Roman in this respect. True to 
his general character 2 the idealizing Roman naturally shrank 
from the expression of his deep thoughts in corporeal images 
or bodily forms and preferred to emphasize the impersonal 
idea ; he therefore adhered to the abstract word fas. The 
Greek took a different course. Endowed with a facile fancy 
and ever prone to body forth and personify the conceptions 
of his mind, he represented the divine law as a goddess and 
delighted in weaving around her a tissue of beautiful 

The scattered allusions to this goddess in the poets d e dess 
conspire to establish the following conclusions and to Themis - 
convey the following idea of her personality. The daughter 
of one of the primeval gods, Ouranos, that is, the all- 
embracing heaven 3 and his consort, Ge, or earth, 4 the benign 
goddess who dispenses her genial gifts in due season, Themis 
so ran the story became the wife of Zeus, and gave birth 
to the Horai, or Hours, the seasons of the year in their natural 
order and regular succession. As such, she was privileged 

1 xi. 450, " he shall embrace his sire, as is meet." 
5 Cf. Ch. ii., p. 23. 

3 Cf. Kaegi, Der Rigveda, on the Indian Varuna, 203. 

4 Such is the account given by Hesiod. Elsewhere she is identified 
with the goddess Ge. 


to share the intimate counsels of her spouse, the king of the 
Olympian deities. Moreover, she was associated with the 
oracle at Delphi 1 and consequently figures as a prophetic 
deity. The drift of the passages in which her character and 
prerogatives are portrayed serves to show that she is a 
deity of primeval antiquity. Under her tutelage are placed 
custom, law and equity, and in this character she not only 
convokes the august assemblies of the gods but reigns in 
the councils of mortal men. 2 

To her therefore Telemachus appeals in the assembly : 

^/xcv Ziyvos 'OXv/uwrtov rj8e 
"H r dj/Spwi/ dyopas rjfJitv Avei -^Sc Ka0tct. 3 

tti and Meanwhile, another tendency was beginning to manifest 
itself, namely, the development of a secular or human law, 
as distinct from the decrees of heaven. This spirit expressed 

Derivation itself in Greek by means of the word Sitcrj. This term is 
clearly derived from the root die, one of the component 
elements of such words as the Greek Seitcwfu, " point out," 
" show " ; Latin, dico, " say " ; German, zeigen, " show " ; 
the termination of the Latin index, "judge," and a series 
of terms like dido, " the right to speak or command," 
"jurisdiction," and condicio, "an agreement," "terms." 4 
Originally, therefore, it signified " direction," " an instruc- 
tion," "a custom." 

Such phrases as the Homeric BUy fiaaCKriwvp or Oewv, 6 the 
" custom of kings," or " gods," retain traces of the earlier 

Transition usage. Afterwards BUrj gradually gained the signification of 

meaning, law, but in Homer the word appears to be passing through 
the transition stage, as witness the following lines. The 
poet is describing his visit to the infernal regions, where 

1 Pausan. x. 583 ; Serv. on Vergil, /Eneid iv. 246. 

2 Iliad xx. 4. 

:H Odyss. ii. 68. " I pray you by Olympian Zeus and by Themis, who 
looseth and gathereth the meetings of men." (BUTCHER and LANG, 

4 Cf. the Sanskrit root di$, and the Latin dictio. 

5 Odyss. iv. 691. 

6 xix. 43. yEschylus often uses the word in the old sense of " like." 

LAW 341 

Minos continues to exercise the functions which brought 
him great glory on earth : 

vjroL MtWa tSov, AIOS ayXaov vibv, 


"H/xei/ov* 01 Be fjnv afi<f>l 5(Ka$ eipoiro a 
"H/xevot eoraoVes T Kar' evpvTTvXe? "A'iSos Sui. 1 

This passage offers to view two terms, fe/jLurrevfiv and 
;, which properly represent respectively the sacred and 
the secular side of law, but are here practically synonymous. 
The fact is, these two conceptions of law, the religious and 
the secular, after being once joined together were never 
completely divorced ; the thought of such a severance would 
have been foreign to a Greek mind, so imbued with a sense 
of human dependence on divine government, so accustomed 
to place human institutions under the protection of the gods. 

The testimony of mythology is pertinent here as in the J h d e dess 
case of Oe/jus. For it affords evidence of the close connection AlVcr ' < 
that exists between tfe/u? and 8iicr}, while at the same time it 
bears witness to the later development of the human insti- 
tution of law. 

The goddess A/K?; occupies a subordinate position, as 
befitted a more recent creation. Unlike 06/Lw, she is not 
one of the inner circle, if we may so say, or of the loftier 
rank of primeval deities, but a child of Zeus. Hesiod thus 
describes her office : 

oirorav TI'S \L 
avriKo. Trap Ad irarpl Kade^o/icvi/ Kpoviiavc 
S.SLKOV voov, 

While reading these lines we are evidently in the presence and 
of a goddess less ancient, less august than the hoary Themis, 

1 Odyss. xi. 568. "There then I saw Minos, glorious son of Zeus, 
wielding a golden sceptre, giving sentence from his throne to the dead, 
while they sat and stood around the prince, asking his dooms through 
the wide-gated house of Hades." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.} 

* Works and Days, 256. " Whenever anyone injures her, unrighteously 
disparaging, straightway sitting beside her father, Zeus, the son of 
Cronos, she exclaims upon the unjust thought of men, that he may pay 
back to them their injustice." 


the representative and incarnation of divine law. Indeed, 
even in Homer we begin to discern an antithesis between 
the decrees of gods represented by the one, and the enact- 
ments of men represented by the other. The history of 
Latin legislation exhibits a similar correspondence. There 
also an opposition is noticeable, as appears in the contrast 
between the terms ius and fas. The derivation of ius is not 
easy to ascertain. It has been connected with the root/&, 
"to bind" ; jungo, "join"; fevyw/u, "join," "yoke." If 
this supposition be correct it may present a parallel to the 
word lex} But probability points in another direction, that 
is, to the idea of purification. Dr. Schrader has suggested 3 
with much plausibility that the original thought lurking in 
the word is that which survives in iurare, " to take an oath," 
" swear." Underneath the term iurare lies the conception 
of clearance from guilt. 3 The transition of meaning of ius 
would then be by the following steps : purity, a means of 
obtaining purification, an oath in legal procedure, and finally 
law in the abstract sense. 

1 But see p. 335. 

2 Reallex., p. 657. 

3 For the form Schrader compares the Avestan yaos, "clean," and 
Sanskrit yos, " sound " ; for the transition, the Swedish lag, " oath," 
" law." 




THE observance of some method of law and administration Law and 
of justice, whether in the form of primitive and traditional 

custom or in a more definite shape, is, as we have seen, ti 
an essential element in well-ordered society. The absence 
of such observances argues a backward and unprogressive 
condition, and distinguishes the uncivilized from the civilized 
community. To the Greek mind, indifference to " dooms " 
and " ordinances of law " stamped the Cyclopes as being 
outside the pale of civilized mankind. These giants were a 
morose and froward race, living far from their fellows, on 
the outskirts of the civilized world, 1 and we are left to 
infer that their ignorance of assemblies marks them off as 
barbaric. They are atfe/uo-nu, "lawless"; they know 
neither judgment (t'*at) nor justice (tfe^uore?) , nor "gather- 
ings of council " (dyopal fiov\r)(f>6pot). 2 

But the terms law and justice imply settled forms of The 

!!,..,. . r J indefinite- 

legislation, and in using them we are to some extent ness of 
anticipating the system that obtained in later days. The Indents 

i i f interpreta- 

truth is, the remark concerning the vagueness of early law tion. 
and its wavering terminology is equally applicable to the 
administration of justice. It has been already observed 
that law was evolved out of custom, or, in other words, that 
law is custom become obligatory. " Primitive societies 
have traditionary codes followed by general consent and 

1 Cf. Ch. x., p. 124 ; xxiii., p. 306 ; and xxviii., p. 395. 

2 Odyss. ix. 106, 215, 112. 

Law is long acknowledged customs, which are believed to be the 


cus t ms f th e ancestors." The indefiniteness of terms 

its vague- re ^ atm S to th 6 administration of justice in the earliest epoch 
ness - of all appears in a variety of ways. Accustomed as we are 
in modern days to subtle distinctions, to a rigorous analysis 
of the offender's motives, to minute investigations of circum- 
stantial evidence of guilt and of grounds for extenuation, we 
might be apt to look in a prehistoric age for the elaborate 
methods of our time. But we should be mistaken. It is 
true that in the legal systems of historic Greece and Rome, 
which have been handed down to modern Europe and still 
form the basis and staple of the jurisprudence of our day, 
such points were acutely argued and clearly differentiated. 
Degrees of guilt were then distinguished with scientific pre- 
cision, but the ancestors of both Greek and Roman drew no 
sharp lines of demarcation and were conscious of no shades of 
The defini- distinction between the various degrees of criminality. So 
terms much is evident, but the terminology employed to describe 
the crime of murder is gradually gaining in clearness, and in 
course of time the differentiation between the various degrees 
of this offence finds expression in the diversity of terms 
which were beginning to be used even at an early period. 
Thus the verb fovevo), " murder," does not exist in Homer, 
but only /crewa), /crivvv/Ai, " kill," a word which seems to 
bear a recognizable relation to the Sanskrit kshanoti, " he 
injures," " wounds." Again, the Latin ccedes and the 
series of words to which it belongs, like occidere and 
homicidium, imply 2 a violent exercise of force by the 
assailant on the person or body of the victim, whereas 
necare 3 indicates a murder perpetrated in any way whatso- 
ever.* There remains another group of expressions, like 
interimere and interficere. It has been pointed out 5 that the 

1 See J. H. Stone, Notes on the Hist, of Anc. Institutions, p. 12. 

2 Schrader, Reallex., 555. 

3 Connected with the Greek i/expoy, " dead " ; ve<vs, " corpse." 

4 Festus, ed. Miiller, p. 148. 

5 Mommsen, Strafrecht, p. 612. 


prefix inter, " between," shows that this term was in the 
strict sense applied to a hand-to-hand fight or scuffle which 
terminates fatally. Yet again, this indefiniteness in the use The 
of terms receives further illustration from the severity of and" 1 
early codes of law, and the uniformity of the punishments of early 

. / . . J r laws and 

indiscriminately meted out to crime. But these general ts causes. 
features of the legal conceptions of early days will become The above 
clearer if we single out one instance for our consideration JJJ 1 I J trated 
the offence of homicide. The opinion held concerning this homicide, 
offence affords an interesting illustration and a strong con- 
firmation of the view previously enunciated, that originally 
law and custom were evolved independently and were not in 
the first instance associated with religion. The truth is, Murder 
murder itself was not viewed as an act entailing pollution, |js a iouso 
nor, indeed, as a moral offence at all. Even in the Homeric offence. 
poems men are found who readily avow the murder of a 
fellow-man, and apparently the anouncement awakens in the 
hearer no feeling of horror or revolt against impiety. The 
Odyssey furnishes an instructive instance. 1 It is an avowal 
by Odysseus on his return to his native country. This man 
had turned outlaw for the slaughter of Orsilochus in Crete, 
who was famous for his fleetness of foot, and had landed in 
Ithaca. He does not shrink from giving a detailed account 
of the manner in which the deed was done. As his victim 
came home from the field, he lay in ambush at dead of night 
and slew him. But he knew that thenceforward he carried 
his life in his hand. Accordingly he bribed a Phoenician 
skipper, took ship, and effected his escape from the country. 
The circumstance that Odysseus is inventing the story, in 
order to disguise his identity, does not at all invalidate the 
testimony it gives to the attitude assumed towards homicide 
by early society in Greece. Did the narrative need con- 
firmation, it would be supplied by the reception accorded by 
Telemachus to Theoclymenus, 2 who, though himself a seer, 

1 xiii. 256. 

2 Odyss. xv. 222, 273 ff. See Ch. xxi., p. 296. 


had slain a man at Argos. The above descriptions find 

further corroboration in the fact that Homer makes no 

mention of Zeus the purifier. 1 In reality the ceremonies of 

cleansing from the stain of murder belong to a later age. 

auction^? They are fi rs t alluded to in the ALthiopis. It is not the least 

cato?y likely supposition that the introduction of them was coincident 

monies with the rise and ascendency of the priesthood at the Delphic 

influence sanctuary, and Dr. Schrader's suggestion that the nature of 

of Delphi, these purificatory rites suggests an Eastern source, 2 carries 

conviction to the mind. But neither must it be supposed 

that the priesthood were actuated merely by selfish motives, 

with a view to self-aggrandisement, in investing law with 

a religious character. On the contrary, the change they 

introduced was calculated to temper and elevate the methods 

of the administration of law. Under the old dispensation 

the Moirai or Fates are austere, pitiless and unrelenting. 3 

But the accession of Apollo and the humanizing influence 

of the Delphic Oracle, of which the priests were presidents, 

inaugurated a new era, and redounded to the benefit of 

society at large. So much on the nature of the first 

formations of law. It is not necessary to labour this point, 

and we may content ourselves with illustrating from the 

case of homicide the gradual growth of legal principles and 

legal practice. 

gatiofto * n the first place, it is necessary to bear in mind the theory 
n^uSlror established at the outset, that as among rude races at the 
co?npe e n- present day, so in early Greece and Italy no system of 
public punishment obtained. The duty of exacting venge- 
ance devolved on the individual injured or the next of kin. 
Yet it was not entirely a private or family concern, for the 
obligation on the part of the person or family aggrieved to 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex., 557 ; and Stengel, Die griechische 
Kultusaltertumer, p. 107. 

2 Herod, i. 35, says that the Greek rites resembled the Lydian. 

3 The Eumenides of ^Eschylus illustrates the harshness of the old 
regime and the beneficent results of the innovations instituted by the 
reign of new gods. See, on the one hand, lines 171, 172, 724, 728, 961 ; 
on the other, 150-153, 162, 163, 615, 621. 



exact revenge or reparation was recognized and enforced 
by the clan, the brotherhood or the tribe. 1 The conse- 
quence is that from time to time in the course of human 
history, desolating feuds have arisen between family 
and family, between clan and clan, leading in some 
cases to the total annihilation of one or other party to 
the conflict. 

The custom of leaving the victim of any outrage or his 
kinsmen to require justice at the hands of his adversary on custom, 
pain of forfeiting the respect of the family or clan, or even 
of imperilling his civic rights, dates from a very early time 
and has prevailed in many parts of the globe. To enumerate 
the instances in point would be an endless task. 2 The 
animating principle is obvious. So long as society remained 
at this level of civilization its organization was loose, and 
since there was as yet no central authority to provide for 
the execution of the unwritten laws or traditionary rules 
which had been hallowed by time and handed down from 
generation to generation, it rested with individual members 
to discharge the duty single-handed. The influence of such The under 
a system was on the whole beneficial. Although it was principle 
of a primitive character and admitted of abuse, supposing influence, 
that the injured man indulged his passion for revenge and 
glutted his ferocity too far, on the other hand it tended to 
discourage crime, and, in consequence, was a means of 
protecting society. Moreover, the danger of the injured 
party exceeding his commission and allowing his hatred to 
outrun his sense of justice was obviated as the world grew 
in wisdom and culture. Society now intervened to prevent 

From what has been said it will be seen that the murderer 
had everything to fear, and punishment threatened him from 

1 See Ch. xxii. 291, 295. 

The usage is world-wide. See A. H. Post, Familienrecht, 113-135 ; 
Die Anf tinge, 172-196; Die Geschlechtsgenossenschaft, 155; Lubbock, 
Origin of Civilization, 468, 470. 


Posthu- more than one quarter. The victim of the outrage, even 
wrath of though he lay in the throes of death, retained the power to 

the victim. f 

inflict punishment of an appalling character. 1 He could 
bring down upon his murderer a curse that would haunt 
him to his dying day. Such an imprecation was fraught 
with horror to the ancient mind, and with good reason, for it 

Erinyes, conjured up the terrible Erinyes ('EpMwe?), 8 who hunted down 
the flying manslayer. The terrors that followed in their 
train are a familiar feature of the Homeric poems, and they 
were often represented, especially by ^Eschylus, as black- 
robed women with snaky tresses instead of hair. Whatever 
view may be taken of this blighting superstition, whether or 
not the sacred trinity of Erinyes are to be regarded simply 
as a symbol of the scourging of a guilty conscience which 
attends acts of impiety, or, as is more probable, they were 
developments in the popular imagination of the angry souls 
of those that were dead and gone, these avengers of blood 
played a prominent part in the early mythology of Greece, in 
visiting upon the offender the penalty of violating the sacred 
duties of humanity. 3 The name aXdaropes, which, from 
signifying originally the perpetrator of a misdeed, which is 
destined never to pass into oblivion (as if o aXavra SeS/m/ew?), 
was transferred to these avenging furies. 4 But other names 
were applied to them also ; dry, judo-ropes, and apai 5 are 
among the number ; and all of them express the rancorous 
hate and unrelenting fury with which the guilty wretch was 
pursued and goaded to madness by these accredited agents 
of heaven. The terror inspired by the thought of these 
remorseless avengers haunting the murderer explains the K a\i ei . v . singular superstition called /ww^aX/few, to which the oifender 
resorted in the hope of allaying their vengeance or lulling to 

1 Cf. Plato, Laws 8;3E, on the disquiet of the soul of the departed. 

2 See Ch. xi., p. 126. 

3 Iliad ix. 571. Cf. 454; Odyss. ii. 135; xi. 280; xvii. 475 ; Iliad 
xv. 204. 

4 Cf. the Old Indian raddhar, 
8 ^Eschylus, Bum., 417. 


sleep the disquiet l of the dead. The murderer cut off the 
extremities of the victim's corpse and placed them under his 
armpits (/Ltao-^aX?;) or hung them around his neck, 3 in the 
belief that by so doing he would avert vengeance and rid 
himself of the consequences of his crime. 8 But such 
precautions could not afford peace to the soul of the 
departed, nor bring rest to the perpetrator of the deed. 
Only purification at the shrine of Delphi could restore ef p hic 
safety to the body and tranquillity to the soul of the latter. 
And here lies one of the proofs of the salutary influence 
exercised by the Delphic oracle, the mouth-piece of the 
god Apollo, in assuaging human passions and fostering 
the spirit of pacification. The intervention of this deity 
accordingly could not fail to mitigate misery, to humanize 
the system of punishment, and to lessen the frequency of 
the crime of murder. Whatever, therefore, may have been 
the motives of the priesthood in investing the law with a 
divine sanction, distinct advantages accrued to society from 
the innovation. 

But the vengeance of the furies was not the only punish- 
ment that was apprehended. The nearest of kin was in i 
duty bound to render honour to the dead. Accordingly he 
was obliged to carry himself, or direct another to carry, a 
spear at the head of the funeral procession. The weapon 
was fixed on the grave of the departed and watched for three 
days. 4 Were he not stimulated by natural impulses of 

1 Cf. d 

2 The name Semnai, " august ones," and Eumenides, " well disposed." 
The latter, a title bestowed in Sikyon and Argos, is an euphemism a 
common characteristic of the Greek mind. This mild form of address 
was thought to have a mollifying effect upon these dread goddesses. 
vEschylus's play, The Eumenides, attests their forbidding character. Cf. 
/iio^/iar' avdpStv KUI 6(>v 'OAv/iTTiW 321, and 313, 395, 479, 711. 

3 Miklpsich, Die Blutrache bei den Slaven, 127, refers to a similar 
practice in Montenegro. 

4 -It is noteworthy that the defilement resulting upon a death only 
affected the kinsmen. Cf. Dem. in Macart. 1071. The spear was a 
symbol of the pursuit of the murderer. Cf. Dem. in Euerget. 1160, and 
Eurip. Troad. 1137. H. E. Seebohm, Greek Tribal Society, p. 42. 


honour and obligation, he was bound by public opinion to 
demand reparation, on pain of incurring the scorn of his 
clansmen and even of excommunication from their pale. 1 
Nor can it be doubted that, in the absence of a system 
of public administration of justice, the provision acted 
f s p o e no" y beneficially. 2 The obligation rested on a brother, 3 but 
especially on a son. Orestes won wide renown for his 
dutiful performance of this office in avenging the treacherous 
murder of Agamemnon. The Latin parentare, meaning to 
appease the manes or spirits of the departed by the offering 
of a sacrifice or a human life, preserves the trace of the same 
usage. We shall probably be right in concluding that this 
term first applied to the avenging of parents, but in course 
of time it was extended to include other degrees of relation- 
ship. In the absence of a public tribunal the kinsman took 
upon himself the functions of judge and executioner, and he 
might proceed to exact summary vengeance on the spot. 
Even in the heat of battle the duty must not be forgotten. 4 
methods of But the early records of Greece and Italy afford evidence 
reparation. that society sanctioned two methods of obtaining satis- 
Lex faction at the hands of the guilty party. The first method, 

tahoms, namely, retaliation in kind, appears to have prevailed in 
unkind! 00 certain stages of development, not only in Europe, but all 
Greece. over the world. The Greek proverb Spda-avn TraQelv is an 
expressive survival of martial times in which rough and 
ready methods of demanding compensation were resorted to. 
Such were in harmony with the wants and wishes of that 
age and at the same time attested the immature ideas that 
obtained. Of this custom of exacting like for like in the 
case of bodily injuries ample testimony survives in the 
writings of Greek authors and lawgivers. Aristotle speaks 

1 Odyss. xxiv. 433, expresses this sentiment forcibly. Cf. Dasent, The 
Story of Burnt Njal xxix., xxx., xxxii., cxlii., clxxxviii. ; Haxthausen, 
Transkaukasia, 384, 410. 

2 Cf. Ch. xxii., p. 292. 

3 As in Odyss. xvi. 97. 

4 Odyss. xi. 431. 


of this Rhadamanthine justice 1 in the Nicomachaean 
Ethics : 

ci K irdOoi rd K pee, SI'KJJ K' Wcia yei/otro. 2 

The principle was embodied, too, in the legal codes of early 
Greece. The laws of Zaleucus contained a provision to the 
following effect : edv rt? b$6a\iiov etc/co^y, avreKKo^ai irapacr- 
%eiv TOV eauroi), " if anyone gouge out an eye, he shall submit 
to have his own eye gouged out in return," 3 and the Pytha- 
gorean school of philosophers had lent their countenance to Rome, 
this primitive law of retaliation. But it is especially character- 
istic of Roman law. Such is the enactment contained in 
the Twelve Tables. Festus, 4 quoting Verrius, supplies the 
following formula. Sz membrum rupit, ni cum eo pacit, talio 
esto" " If he has torn a limb, unless he comes to an agree- 
ment, there shall be retaliation." The antiquarian adds the 
significant comment, " neque id, quid significet, indicat, 
puto, quia notum est. Permittit enim lex parem vindictam ; " 
" and he does not point out its meaning, presumably, 
because it is known ; for the law allows retaliation." 

The same principle operated in cases of murder ; life was night and 
required for life, and blood called for blood. 5 The fear f 
death frequently forced the murderer to seek flight and he 
went into perpetual exile, no small punishment to a Greek 
or a Roman, since it cut him off from all that he held dear, all 

1 The expression " Rhadamanthine rule " in the passage was taken 
from the name of Rhadamanthus, a brother of King Minos of Crete 
(Iliad xiv. 322). Renowned for his justice on earth he became a judge 
in the lower world. Odyss. iv. 564 ; vii. 323 ; Find., Ol. ii. 137; Apollod. 
iii. I, 82. 

" v - 5> 3 " To suffer that which thou hast done is just." The line is 
attributed to Hesiod, but the authorship is uncertain. 

3 Demosth., Timocr., p. 744. 

4 p. 363, Miiller. Cf. Arist., Metaph. i., v. 816. 

6 Cf. Exodus xxi. 24, and the Mosaic code, Levit. xxiv. 20 ; 
Deut. xix. 21 ; Eur., Elect. 858, alpa 8' alfuiTOS (j-iKpos daveia-fios rj\6f rdi 
Oavovrt. Plato, Laws xi., pp. 156, 157, Trpii/ <J>6vov <oi/o> 6/zoi'w o/zotoi/ 17 
dpaaaa-a faxy ricrrj. Ovid, Met. viii. 483, mors morte pianda est. 
Qesar, De B. G. iv. 16 (on the Gauls), pro hominis vita nisi hominis vita 
reddatur, non posse aliter deorum immortalium numen placari arbitrantur. 


fs ig ium f ^ at mac * e life wort h living. He returned at his peril. 1 But 

another alternative presented itself; he might also seek 

refuge at the altar, 3 where he could not be slain without 

contaminating the sanctuary, and might obtain purification. 3 

compo- Such was the practice of wreaking vengeance that obtained 

Iuprsede in the early stages of social sentiment. But with the 

' advance of civilization, and the spread of humaner ideas, 

the severity of the earlier usages was softened by the 

introduction of the imposition of fines. Yet no ransom 

could buy off the culprit or purge the guilt of one who 

murdered a fellow tribesman or a fellow citizen. 4 For such 

an offence the choice lay between death and (a sentence 

hardly less terrible) perpetual exile. 5 

instances The substitution of fines for retaliation in kind, needless 
various to say, marks an important advance in social evolution and 
it is not a little significant that it occurs in the early history 
of many nations of Aryan blood. The Welsh galanas and 
the Teutonic Wehrgeld are familiar features of the laws of 
Celtic and Saxon Britain. Under the same category falls 
the Indian usage, for which the Maitrdyaniya Samhitdb is a 
voucher, 6 and other passages quoted by Schrader 7 afford 
ample corroboration of the practice in India. 8 It was like- 
wise sanctioned by the Zend Avesta, for evidence exists that 
among the adherents of the old Persian religion fines were 
exacted and were sometimes paid in money, sometimes in 
maidens. 9 

1 Cf. Odyss. xv. 272-276, quoted in Ch. xxi., p. 296. 

2 The suppliant was called IKCTTJS. Iliad xxiv. 158 affords an instance. 
Cf. Odyss. xv. 277 He was under the protection of Zeus (ix. 270 ; 
vii. 165 ; viii. 546), and he held in his hand an olive branch, Mccn/pta 
(pd/38os), as a symbol of his condition and claim. Herod, v. 51 ; vii. 141 ; 
Demosthenes, De Cor., 107. 

3 So long as he was not purified he was called (in the Greek tragedians) 
fraXafJivalos or rrpocrrpoiraios. 

4 Iliad Ti\\\. 695 ; xv. 335 ; xvi. $72. 

5 Solon in Dem., c. Aristocrat. 629. 

6 i. 113, 13. 7 Reallex.) 102. 

8 Roth, Das Wergeld im Veda, Z. d. D. Morgenl. G. xli. 672 ; and 
C. Biihler, Das Wergeld in Indien, p. 44. 

9 W. Geiger, Ostiran. Kultur^ p. 452 ; Schrader, Reallex., p. 103. 


But interesting as these cases all are, none exceed in striking 
interest the development both of the idea and the institution p t j ece and 
in Greece and Italy. The transition from personal venge- 
ance to the adoption of fines is reflected clearly in the 
growth of language. 1 Underneath the words for " venge-;^ and 
ance " and " fine " in more than one language lies a root 
which in some of them assumes the form ki in others ti.~ 
Its primary idea is to "perceive," "observe," "search," 
" inquire," but its meaning branches off in different direc- 
tions. 3 The successive stages in the meaning of the Greek 
word TTQivri* attest the change of practice, since it meant 
in the first instance "revenge" and afterwards "blood- 
money," as in the following lines : 

Kai fjLfv TI'S Tf Kao-iyvrjToio <f>ovrjo<; 
jroLvrjv r) ov TratSos eSc^aro TC^K^UJTOS, 
KCU p o fj.V (V &ri}Jna ^teVei avToD, TroAA* u 
TOV 8t r' pTjTVTai KpaSo; KCU Ovfjios dyryj/top 

On the othef hand, the Latin poena did not acquire so soon 
the precise meaning of what is paid to atone for an injury. 
The earliest example of poena in this sense occurs in the 
following provision in the Twelve Tables ; "si iniuriam faxit 
alteri, viginti quinque aeris pcenae sunto." 6 " If he has 

1 Considerations of space preclude our dealing exhaustively with these 
forms of composition for homicides. One, however, may be mentioned. 
The relatives of the murdered man took a sheep in place of the mur- 
derer's life if the act was unpremeditated. Cf. Festus on sublet, pp. 265, 
267 ; Serv. on Vergil, Ed. 4, 3 ; and Lasaulx, Die Suhnopfer, p. 1 5. 

: Old Bactrian, haima, "punishment," "revenge"; Church Slavonic, 
cena, "honour." 

8 Thence it comes to bear the significations (i) to set a price on, value, 
honour ; (2) give a price for, pay, require a price, exact penalty, avenge. 

4 Uoivf) is used with reference to any offence, even rudeness. Cf. 
Odyss. viii. 158. 

5 Jliad\x. 632. "Yet doth a man accept recompense of his brother's 
murderer or for his dead son ; and so the manslayer for a great price 
abideth in his own land, and the kinsman's heart is appeased, and his 
proud soul, when he hath taken the recompense." (LANG, LEAF and 
MYERS, trans/.). Cf. Herod, ii. 134. Plutarch, Qucest. Grcec., c. 46, p. 303. 
refers to an old law at Tralles in Lydia, which enjoined the payment of a 
medimnus of beans to the kinsmen of a member of a low class of citizen. 

6 Max Miiller, Selected Essays i. 193. Cf. dare and pendere pactias. 

A a 


done another an injury, twenty bronze pieces shall be the 
composition." Strictly it was employed in a general sense 
to denote penalties of any sort, whether corporal punishment 
or imprisonment. 1 But provision was made in Roman law 
for the infliction of fines, and these varied according to the 
rank of the person injured. 3 

[ e second This consideration, namely, that the penalty must be 
m^n'it'y proportioned to the position of the offended party, or fit the 
interpose. g rav ity of the offence, led in due time to a further step, 
which is of paramount importance in the development of 
the system of administering justice. For now the com- 
munity interposes to temper the sternness of the law, to 
moderate the anger of the offended individual or family, and 
to guarantee security to the culprit who has given satisfac- 
tion for the murder. 

uSo?of Thus we have arrived at the second epoch or stage in the 
custom development of the administration of justice. It stands to 
reason that the intervention of the community, either in 
a corporate capacity or through its representatives, was 
eminently desirable in the interest of all. For circumstances 
might arise for which there might be no precedent, or, 
again, opinions might differ concerning the import and 
interpretation of these traditional customs by which society 
and th e e iders g was guided. 3 Usually, the king decides the issue, and is 
highly qualified for the task, as uniting in his person at 
once divinely inspired wisdom, and the highest human 

1 The word multa was probably Sabine (Varro, in Gellius ii. i, 5) or 
Oscan (Festus, p. 142, Miiller). It was used to express the idea of punish- 
ment, but especially of fines, and it is particularly interesting, inasmuch 
as it illustrates the changes in the conception of what constituted wealth. 
First of all, when wealth consisted in flocks and herds, it signified a fine 
in cattle ; afterwards a fine in money. Livy iv. 30 mentions the law for the 
commutation of fines. The consuls, having ascertained that the tribunes 
were contemplating this popular move, introduced a measure themselves. 

2 Ortolan, ExpL Hist, des Inst. de V Emp. Justinien, p. 114. 

3 Cf. J. Terpstra, Antiquitas Homerica, p. 85. Ex rationis aequitate, 
majorum institutis et testium indiciis controversial dirimebantur : leges 
rarae erant aut nullae; unde est quod ab Homero Qefjucrras non vfyovs 
celebrare observarunt critici. 


authority. 1 But his power is limited by the appointment of 
assessors as interpreters of law, who are styled " elders " 
(yepo yre?). 

Such is the general tenour of the passages in Homer. 
The king and his council 2 are an established institution 
exercising judicial functions. 8 Of all the passages which 
illustrate the methods of jurisdiction in Homer, none shield O f 
surpasses in interest the archaic description of a trial in the Achi "- 
'AaTTiSoTTota or the Shield of Achilles. The poet is depicting 
very vividly the scenes from daily life in Greece, but life 
in a high antiquity, and probably in an age anterior to that 
portrayed in most of the poem. Among them he describes 
a trial : 

Aaol 8' eu> ayopfj laav aOpooC ZvOa 8e vei/cos 
'Qpwpei, 8vo 8' ai'Spes eveuceoi/ ctVcKa 

'Av8pOS a7rO<p#i/Al>OV' 'O ftCV V^TO 

Ai//xa> TTK^avaKwVj 6 8' dvaiVtro /x^Sei/ e\t(rOau. 

"Aft<<0 8* ItO-OrjV Tl lOTOpt TTlpap \<T0aL' 

Aaoi 8* dfji^oTfpounv iirrjTrvov^ d/x<ts dpcoyoi. 
K^pVKes 8' apa XOLOV cprjrvov' ol 8c ytpovres 
Eiar' C'TTI t<TToi(Ti Xt^ois ip<5 ei/i 

Totaiv In-eiT 1 T/rcroi>, 

KITO 8' op* cv /x,<rcroi(n 8va> \pv<rolo 

, OS /XTtt 

1 Cf. Ch. xxiii., p. 308. The idea of concentrating legal functions in 
the hands of the king is un-Aryan and belongs rather to Semitic and 
Egyptian institutions. 

2 -See Ch. xxiv., p. 319. 

* The lines in Odyss. xii. 439, show that the council need not all 
assemble, and that in minor matters the king or perhaps one of the 
elders might act alone. But this is evidently an exceptional case. They 
run as follows : 

jj/ioy 6*' eVi fiopTTov dvrjp dyopr)0fv avftrrr) 
Kpivatv veiKfa TroXAu diKa(ofivav alfrav, 
Typos 8f) rd yf Sovpa Xapvfidtos tc<j)adv6T). 

'* At the hour when a man rises up from the assembly and goes to supper, 
one who judges the many quarrels of the young men that seek to him for 
law, at that same hour those timbers came forth to view from out 
Charybdis." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) 

4 Iliad xviii. 497-508. " But the folk were gathered in the assembly 
place ; for there a strife was arisen, two men striving about the blood- 
price of a man slain ; the one avowed that he had paid all, expounding to 
the people, but the other denied that he had received aught, and each 


The process takes place in the market place (ayopd) in 
accordance with the time-honoured tradition, which is not 
confined to Greece, that such investigations should be held 
in the open air and in the eye of day. 1 Apparently the 
question at issue is the payment of TTOWIJ, blood-money 
or composition, and it will be seen that the method of 
procedure illustrates several features in judicial administra- 
tion, which we have already noticed cursorily. But it should 
be stated, that commentators are not all agreed on the 
interpretation even of the main point. Some incline to the 
opinion that we have here an ordinary trial for murder. 2 
All things considered, the most natural explanation would 
seem to be this : it is a civil suit, a claim for debt arising 
from a previous case of murder, 8 submitted to the elders 
assembled in solemn conclave. It would seem that the 
king is not present on this occasion ; certainly there is no 
reference to the magisterial duties of the king, but in this par- 
ticular instance an umpire is present who fulfils the duties 
that properly devolve upon the king. He is styled icrrwp, 
or "arbiter," "umpire," "judge," 4 and he listens to the 

was fain to obtain consummation on the word of his witness. And the 
folk were cheering both as they took part on either side. And heralds 
kept order among the folk, while the elders on polished stones were 
sitting in the sacred circle, and holding in their hands staves from the 
loud-voiced heralds. Then before the people they rose up and gave 
judgment each in turn. And in the midst lay two talents of gold to be 
given unto him who should plead among them most righteously." 
(LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.) 

1 Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, p. 793, and Meier und Scho- 
mann, p. 148. Tacitus, Germ. c. 9 and 39, speaks of the German 
practice of conducting trials in woods, and he gives the reason : Stato 
tempore in silvam, auguriis patrum et prisca formidine sacram . . . 
coeunt. Similarly in Rome and Germany trials took place between 
sunrise and sunset, because the sun was sacred. Cf. the Twelve Tables : 
solis occasus suprema tempestas esto, and the German tagadinc, Grimm, 
ibid. 813. Cf. also Ch. xxiv., p. 324. 

2 Cf. A. Hofmeister, Z.f. vergl. Rechtswiss. ii. 443. 

3 There is nothing to show that the judges in this instance had the 
right to sentence to death or perpetual exile, and so to deprive the clan, 
brotherhood, or tribe of one of its members without the consent of the 
tribe itself. 

4 Lit. " one how knows," from cidcwu. The Scholiast's gloss, pdpTvpi 
fj KpiTfi, equally admits of the interpretation, "witness." So the late 


opinions of the elders before pronouncing judgment. Each 
party to the suit deposits a sum of money, which is to be 
forfeited in the event of failure to establish his case. 1 The 
trial begins. Around the elders, who form the court and sit 
in a round space marked out for the purpose, the populace 
are gathered. But, whatever their position may have been 
in the original system of judicial administration among 
Aryan races, on this occasion they are present in no official 
capacity. They exhibit partizanship, indeed, they express 
assent or dissent, as the defendant or plaintiff makes a point 
in the course of the trial, but they do no more. Each of 
the elders sits upon a seat on a polished stone 2 in the sacred 
circle. 3 Each delivers his verdict in regular order, taking 
into his hands the sceptre which is the symbol of judicial 

Latin cognitor, which, like iora>/3, signifies one who has got to know 
(cognosce^ one who possesses the technical or particular knowledge), and 
consequently means " umpire " or " witness " ; and arbiter (ad-difo, eo). 
one who "goes to" something to see or hear, an eye-witness, an umpire, 
So Iliad xxiii. 486, where an umpire or referee is called upon to settle a 
betting transaction. It has already been seen that the king, strictly 
speaking, possesses the supreme authority in judicial matters, and in 
consequence a special functionary for this purpose first appears after the 
Aryan races have assumed a separate existence. The nearest approach 
to the idea of a judge in the modern sense is to be found in the passage 
before us (assuming that the interpretation given above is correct). Cf. 
Odyss. xi. 186. When in after ages permanent judges were set apart for 
the settlement of criminal or civil causes, they were placed under the 
superintendence of the tipxwv fta(ri\fvs another proof of the close con- 
nection subsisting between the administration of justice and the kingly 
office. The history of the judicial institutions of the Slavs offers a 
striking correspondence to the above descriptions. With them the chief 
of the tribe and the princes performed judicial functions. With them too 
the commons actually or nominally possessed certain rights of interven- 
tion. See Schrader, Reallex., 687, 688 ; Leist, Altarisches Jus qentium, 
p. 68. 

1 Cf. the later Greek term 7rapaKara/3oAi;, and the Latin sacramentum. 
These were deposits or pledges which in certain suits plaintiff and 
defendant were alike obliged to make. 

2 Cf. Odyss. iii. 406. at/ivo! &OKOI. /Esch. Agam. 519. 

3 Cf. Iliad xi. 807, where we read of altars in the place of assembly : 

Iva <rtf) ayopr) re 
*Hi)v, TJJ 8f) *ai 0-01 6to>v f 

The proceedings on such occasions began with sacrifice to the gods. 


authority. 1 Finally, the two talents deposited are awarded 2 
to the litigant who has gained the day, 3 that is, his own 
deposit and the forfeited deposit of the defeated litigant. 

Such in outline were the methods of procedure in the 
social conditions portrayed by Homer, and they derive 
special significance from the fact that Italy presents a parallel 
state of things. 

spending Not on ty 1S this true of the general character of the 
in judicial methods in Italy, but also of the names applied to 
those who took part in the proceedings. The Latin index is 
adjectival in form, and when analyzed it yields the following 
results. The chief element is simply ius abbreviated ; the 
termination contains the root die. Its primitive import is, 
therefore, one who points out, who declares judgment. But 
the resemblance does not end there. As in Greece so at 
Rome the king administers justice either alone or with " old 
men" (senator es^ like yepovres) at his side.' 4 As in Greece 
the royal prerogative was steadily encroached upon alike 
by noble, populace and priest, so at Rome some of the 
king's judicial duties were in course of time detached from 
his person through the appointment of special judges for 
special cases, like the duumiviri perduellionis , and the 
quaestor es parricidii, for charges of treason and rebellion. 

1 Cf. Arist., Pol. ii. 6 (17). The sceptre was borne by the king qua 
judge, not qua military leader or augur. See Iliad ii. 85, 86, 188-194 ; 
xviii. 550-560. 

2 The word lOvvrara affords an instructive instance of two permanent 
phenomena in the growth of language, (i) In it the idea of justice is 
taken from that of straightness, as opposed to perversity ; (2) the 
material sense precedes the moral ; " straight " acquires the meaning of 
" straightforward." The opposite term ovcoAioy, indicating moral obli- 
quity, exhibits a similar transition from the idea of " crooked " to that of 
"unrighteous." Cf. Latin recites, German recht and gerade, English 
" right? " straight " (conversational), Slavonic pravlda ; and on the 
other side pramis, unrecht and krumm, wrong, krimda. 

3 The sum is certainly less than the value which would be set on a 
man's life. Cf. xxiii. 262-270. He may, however, have been a serf. So 
Reichel, Homerische Waffen, 2nd ed., p. 158, who thinks that the poet 
wrongly interpreted the blood-money in an actual work of art, as either a 
prize for the judge or the deposits of the litigants. 

4 Cf. Bernhoft, Stoat und Recht der romischen Konigscit, p. 119. 


As in Greece the priest advanced his claims and gradually 
gained important influence, so at Rome the pontifices were 
associated with the secular functionaries and managed to 
assume considerable power. 

It remains for us to point out three features in the judicial 
conceptions of early Aryan society which call for comment. 
They are not devoid of interest and significance, for some 
of them contained the germs of important institutions of a 
later day, while others have been abolished, modified or 
transferred to different departments. 1 

The first refers to the means which were taken by the oath 9 . 
culprit to disavow the offence laid to his charge, or by 
the witness to confirm the testimony that he adduced. 
Supposing the evidence was insufficient and the problem lay 
beyond solution by the ordinary method, the court called 
superhuman or preternatural aid into requisition. Of this 
expedient the solemn abjuration furnishes a good example. 
The original oath took the form of a curse, by which the 
man who made the declaration drew down, or at any rate 
invoked upon himself, the divine vengeance 2 in the most 
ceremonious manner and sometimes with emotional out- 
bursts of horror. Or he bound himself to surrender some- 
thing which he held precious, be it weapon or horse or 
ship or life itself. So much is implied in the double 
meaning of the English "swear," the Sanskrit qapdt/ia-, 
" curse," and " oath." 3 So much also appears from a 
comparison of the two Latin words exsecrari, " curse," 
" take a solemn oath," and sacramentum, " a pledge," 

1 It is one of the singular anomalies in the Roman constitution (which 
are, however, valuable as testimony to the evolution of institutions in 
Rome) that the pontifices united several powers in their hands. They 
were originally bridge builders (pons, facto), but in course of time, 
perhaps because rivers and bridges (e.g. the Pons Sublicius) were held 
sacred, they acquired religious functions ; hence the term pontiff in the 
Roman Catholic Church. But, as is seen in the text, they now appear in 
a third capacity as ministers of justice. Praetor and consul exhibit a 
similar combination of powers and a similar development. 

2 Especially of Zeus, Iliad \\\. 276 ; xix. 258 ; and Jupiter, Liv. xxiv. 8. 

3 Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 166. 


"deposit." 1 Further, it is instructive to observe, in 
connection with what follows, that the swearer suited the 
panic t>y action to the oath of clearing which he recited. He took 
a gesture, j^d o f some object, which he highly prized and volunteered 
to forfeit or render it useless to himself. It might be some 
object connected with the god who was called to witness. 3 
It might be his own chin or beard. 3 It might be a son or 
some one near and dear to him, as in the case of ^Eneas 
who swears by the head of his son Ascanius. 4 It might be 
merely a rock or stone. After reciting the oath the culprit 
flung it away and offered to submit to the same fate. 5 Of 
this custom instances might be multiplied. 6 The only 
feature in this wide-spread formula which calls for notice 
is the following. The probability is, that in its primitive 
import the original oath was of the nature of a curse or 
imprecation upon oneself, which might or might not be 
accompanied by some symbolic action. Still, the gods are 
not called to witness or to wreak vengeance, for at that time 
they were not themselves paragons of morality, and could 
not upon ethical grounds consistently claim the right to 
interpose, nor, indeed, were regarded as appreciating moral 
excellence or actuated by moral motives at all. 7 

The ordeal. The oath of innocence, which, as has already appeared, 
was not unimportant in itself, exerts an important bearing 
upon another institution which has prevailed at all times, 
namely, the ordeal. The term and its purpose are well 
known. It is the method of referring disputed questions, 

1 Job. xxxi. and Psalm vii. are good illustrations of the practice in the 
Semitic world. 

* Cf. the Irish tong and Welsh tyngit, " swear," with the Latin tango, 
" touch." Schrader, Reallex.^ p. 166, compares a pair of words in Old 
Slovenic, prisegati^ " swear," and prisegnati^ " touch." 

4 Cf. JZneid iv. 354, 357. 

5 Lapidem silicein tenebant iuraturi per Jovem hasc verba dicentes, si 
sciens fallo turn me Diespiter salva urbe arceque bonis ejiciat, uti ego 
hunc lapidem." Festus, on lapis. 

6 Cf. Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt., p. 147 ; Lindemann, DieMoral^ pp. 273, 
279 ; A. H. Post, Die Anfdnge^ p. 255. 

7 Cf. Schrader, Reallex^ p. 169, and Ch. xxxii., p. 489. 


especially such as relate to the guilt or innocence of an 
individual, to the judgment of heaven, which is determined 
either by lot or by the success of certain experiments. For 
if, as Kaegi has conjectured in his brochure on the ordeal 
among German races, 1 the practice reaches to an im- 
memorial antiquity, its origin is doubtless closely connected 
with that of the oath. 2 The examples extant in the Evolved 
literatures of other countries are plentiful ; the ordeal oath - 
flourished in the age of chivalry, and is not entirely extinct 
among the less progressive elements of current civilizations. 
The literatures of Greece and Italy furnish a few cases. Greece. 
Such is the well-known passage in Sophocles. The watchers 
over the corpse of Polyneices, which has been forbidden 
burial, declare themselves ready to appeal to the ordeal, and 
as fire is a purifying agent, fire will furnish the truest test 
of their moral rectitude : 

r){J.V 8* TOlfJLOl KOL (JLvSpOVS \CpOlV 

TO fJ,rJT 8pa<rai /xrfre T 

The Scholiast on the Epistles of Horace * refers to a 
practice which obtained at Rome in investigating cases of 
theft : Cum in servis suspicio furti habetur, ducuntur ad Ital y- 
sacerdotem, qui crustum panis carmine 5 infectum dat 
singulis : quod cum adaeserit ori, manifeste furti reum 
adserit. 6 But it may not be supposed that the above- 

1 Alter und Hcrkunft ties qerm. Gottcsurthcils, Zurich, 1887. 

2 Cf. the Sanskrit wpdtha (i) "oath" (see p. 359) and (2) "ordeal" ; 
divya, (i) "ordeal" and (2) "oath." 

3 Antig. 264. " We were ready to hold red-hot iron in our hands, to 
pass through fire, and swear by the gods that we had not done it, nor 
were accomplices of anyone who had planned or executed the deed." 

4 i. 10, 10, quoted in Schrader, Reallex., p. 304. 

6 Formulae of magic and incantation are the regular accompaniments 
of oaths and ordeals among primitive peoples. 

6 " If suspicion rests upon slaves they are led to a priest who gives 
each one a bit of bread which has been tinctured with an incantation. 
When it has stuck to the mouth the priest lays hands on the man as being 
clearly guilty of the theft." 


mentioned are isolated instances of such an usage among 
the Greeks and Italic races. However that may be, cases 
abound among races who clearly derived the practice from 
the same source. A bare allusion to them will suffice. In 
other places besides Greece the suspected individual is 
called upon to grasp a bar of hot iron and carry it for some 
distance in his hand, or to walk nine feet barefoot and blind- 
folded over red hot ploughshares. Such a custom obtained 
in Russia and was known by the name of pravda sheljezo^ 
Similarly culprits leapt through fire to prove their 
innocence and enforce the truth. The Servian mazija or 
water ordeal (na vodou) recalls the allusion in Vergil. 3 But 
in matter of fact these are only samples of a practice 
prevalent among rude communities scattered all the world 
over and exhibiting every variety of procedure. 

ment sh " "^e su bject of punishments has been touched upon 
incidentally in speaking of adultery and other offences, and 
our object here will be to gather up the threads, which we 
have taken up, but have been obliged to drop for a time, 
rather than to enter upon a minute discussion. It has already 
appeared that two distinct ideas run throughout the early 
conceptions of the duties of the public in regard to inflicting 
punishment. The majority of offences were punished by the 
individual injured or affronted, or his family might espouse 
his cause. Indeed, it would appear that the "brotherhood " 
also recognized some system of public punishment, 3 which 
might entail exile or excommunication from their fold. 4 
With this system, however, the tribe did not originally 
concern itself. It was left to the person wronged either 

1 Ewers, Das alteste Recht der Rttssen, pp. 317-338. 

sEneid'uL. 585. See Heyne on the passage. The water ordeal was 
practised in the case of bondsmen and rustics, and took two forms, (i) 
plunging the hand in boiling water, (2) flinging into a deep river or pond. 
Under such a judicial system, which was based on the principle that if 
the accused escaped unhurt he was innocent, if otherwise, guilty, the 
accused would seldom escape. 

3 Cf. the Sanskrit sabhtt, (i) meeting of the clan ; (2) court of law. See 
Ch. xxi., p. 284. 

4 Cf. d</>pi/r<op, Ch. xxi., p. 283, and Ch. xxii., p. 290. 


to require an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and blood 
for blood, or, as afterwards became customary, to compound 
for the injury inflicted. 1 

But there was another class of offences which affected the against th 


community in general, and called for punishment at the 
hands of the tribe. The technical term for these was in 
Sanskrit a gas* "vexation," "offence," in Greek <*yov 3 
" guilt," " object of awe." It included crimes like treason, 
regicide and cowardice. For these the culprit could expect 
no other penalty but death. 4 But if he evaded the hand of 
justice and fled the country he was proclaimed an outlaw ; 
a price was set on his head, he was on a par with the wild 
beast of the forest and field. In Italy such a criminal was 
declared sacer, " accursed," and forbidden fire and water 
(aqua et igni interdicere). In Greece he was reduced to the 
most piteous plight imaginable, for he was, 

avecrrios. 5 

The same authority which pronounced sentence of death The , 
upon the offender would in all probability see to its of 

r J sentences. 

execution ; at least, such is the conclusion to which the 
survivals among some races G seem to point. For that was 
not an age of subtle distinctions. To the ancient mind 
there was but little difference between passing a law, trying 

1 Dergang der geschichte ist nun dass stufenweise die idee von bussen 
schwacher, die von strafen scharfer wird ; dass auch verbrechen, die 
friiher nicht offentliche waren, ihren privaten character aufgeben und dass 
manche bussen an deren stelle strafen treten ganzlich verschwinden. 
Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsaltert., p. 623. Busse greift das vermogen, 
strafe leib und ehre des verbrechers an ; wo strafe eintritt, findet keine 
busse statt. Ibid., p. 680. 

2 Schrader, Reallex., p. 662. 

3 Cf. the Greek dyfjs, oytos (cfyios), /itapoy, " accursed." 

4 The early codes, like those of Draco, who " wrote them in blood," 
Lycurgus and Zaleucus, recognized no other punishment even for minor 
offences. Cf. Lycurg. c. Leocr., 65, ot yap dpxatot vop.odtTai . . . 6/*otW 
fVi 7ra(7t Acat roiy eXa^iVroiy Trapai/o^i^/zacrt Bdvarov &picrcu> flvai rr}v fypidv. 
See Schrader, Reallex. 833 ; Hermann-Thalheim, Lehr. d. griech. 
Rechtsaltert., p. 122. 

5 " Without a brotherhood, without rights, without a home." 

6 As among the Macedonians and Germans. Schrader, Reallex. 833. 


an offender, or carrying out the sentence. The forms which 
this public punishment took were various. Flogging dated 
from a very early time, 1 and its antiquity is attested by the 
circumstance that capital punishment was in the case of a 
priest 2 not inflicted by means of an iron axe (securis), but by 
flogging to death with rod or scourge administered by the 
pontifex maximus, that is, the " high priest." We shall be 
safe in concluding that this practice prevailed in a yet 
earlier time. It is only a fresh instance of the immobility 
in regard to religious matters and traditions which was one 
of the most marked characteristics of the Roman. 3 But 
other forms of punishment came into vogue. Stoning to 
death, 4 throwing from precipices, drowning, burning, 5 
beheading 6 (the regular method in later days) were among 
the number. 7 Antiquity, indeed, furnishes a long list of 

1 Suetonius, Nero 49, calls the usage mos majorum. Similarly in 
India, Zimmer, Alt. Leben, p. 181. 
3 Livy xxii. 5.7 ; xxviii. n. 

3 R. von Ihering gives a detailed and interesting account of the method 
employed, The Evolution of the Aryan, pp. 51-61. Cf. Grimm, Deutsche 
Rechtsalt. p. 643. 

4 Cf. Iliad \\\. 57, and Curtius vi. u, 38 (on the Macedonians); Grimm, 
Deutsche Rechtsalt., 69 ; Von Ihering, 139, 140. 

5 Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalt., p. 699. 

6 The sword as a weapon of war recommended itself in preference to 
the dishonour of flogging ; the axe (securis} with which the death penalty 
was generally inflicted was part of the fasces which the lictors carried. 
These bundles of rods and a sword together symbolized the older and 
the newer forms of punishment. 

7 There were other methods of punishment : breaking on the wheel, 
Livy i. 28 ; tearing asunder with horses, ibid. ; suffocation, ibid. 5 1 ; 
Tacitus, Germ. 12 ; and burying alive. But the authors who allude to 
some of these barbarities expressly mention that these seventies were 
dictated by feelings of passion or were otherwise exceptional. Through- 
out primitive society, whether Aryan or Semitic, and also during the 
barbarian twilight through which all nations have passed, a singular 
phenomenon is witnessed, which cannot be discussed at length here, but 
deserves mention. It is the formal arraignment, not only of the culprit 
and his family but also of animals and even of inanimate objects. Plutarch, 
Solon, states that a dog bit a man in Greece and was delivered up to be 
bound to a log four cubits long, and Draco ordered that a process should 
be instituted against inanimate objects, Pausan. i. 28, 1 1 ; Plato, 873 E. 
^schines. Contra Ctesiph. 244, 245, mentions it as a familiar proceeding. 
" We banish," says he, " beyond our borders stock, stone and steel if it 
chance to kill a man." Accordingly, the guilty axe was arraigned in 


horrors of this kind, and displayed no inconsiderable 
ingenuity in their invention. Modern sensibilities may well 
shrink from an enumeration of them. It is doubtful, how- 
ever, whether the modern mind is justified in affecting a 
superiority on this score over the ancient, considering that 
the death penalty was meted out to sheepstealers in modern 
England not so long ago, that the annals of other European 
nations have been sullied by a catalogue of merciless 
punishments for mild offences, and that these punishments 
were often accompanied by refined tortures. 

The internal organization of society in Greece has 
hitherto engaged the chief share of our attention. We have 
now accomplished this part of our task. The scene now 
changes, and a wider prospect opens on our view. We 
proceed to trace the gradual enlargement of the mental vision 
of the primitive inhabitants of Greece and Italy, and the 
expansion of their social boundaries and intellectual horizon. 
We shall follow the incipient stages of an international 
intercourse, and the simple beginnings of a comity of nations. 
We shall inquire into the way in which these men began 
to realize their relations to the unseen world also, their 
glimmering consciousness of a Supreme Power and a life 
beyond the tomb, ideas which, though at first faint and in- 
distinct, gradually gained in clearness, till the time arrived 
for a fuller revelation of the unseen realities in the Hebrew 
and Christian world. 

an Athenian court of law and formally condemned to banishment. This 
reminds us of the scene in Heine's fragmentary Memoirs where the 
disestablished executioners bury the headsman's axe with due demon- 
strations of respect and sorrow. Even in the Salic law it is provided 
that if an animal slays a man, the owner, in addition to paying half the 
compensation, shall surrender the animal. American Law Review xi. 
426, and Tissot. Droit Ptnal i., p. 20. The cause is deep-seated, 
and is grounded in the belief that the savage regards all natural objects 
as intelligent beings ; he invests them with personality and credits them 
with senses. Unconsciously the savage extends to the universe his own 
implicit consciousness of personality, and it is specially significant that 
the rule applies in particular to living things, brute animals or living 
organisms like trees. He therefore vents his anger upon them ; he puts 
the animal to death and chops the tree to pieces. 

3 66 



" WAR is the father of all things." Heraclitus in this 
saying showed a keen insight into the conditions of 
human existence in early ages and the progress of human 
civilization ; l indeed, he may be said to have anticipated in a 
measure the doctrine which has almost become one of the 
accepted canons of modern science. For the recognition of 
this process at work in the production of plants and animals 
is in the opinion of many thinkers a cardinal principle in 
evolution. 2 Through the operation of the law of the survival 
of the fittest, as we have already seen, 3 the strong species, 
namely, those which are best adapted to their surroundings, 
have maintained their position and have worsted or destroyed 
the weak in the keen struggle for existence. That life is war, 
that all along the ages pain has been a condition of progress 
and is the common lot of all beings, that the ingenuity of 
insects has ever been and is still taxed to the uttermost to 
invent means of self-defence, that perhaps the song of birds 

1 Fr. 44 in Oxford Edition, TroXepos iravrutv pev Trarfjp <TTI irdvrcov 8c 

Kai TOVS pev 8eovs eeie TOVS e dvOpdwrovs, TOVS pev dov\ovs 
TOVS 8e cXevOcpovs. 

2 It should, however, be stated that Darwin himself did not always 
regard this bitter struggle for the means of existence as the main factor 
of evolution. In fact, Goethe also believed, as he told Eckermann, that it 
was possible to trace a law of mutual support and co-operation amongst 
animals, and added that if it could be established, it might offer a solution 
of many an enigma. Cf. Prince Kropotkin's recent work, Mutual Aid> 
London, 1902, in which the author deals with this neglected principle 
in evolution. 

3 Cf. Ch. i., p. 4. 


is a war-cry and the adornment of the butterfly is war- 
paint ; these ideas, if somewhat fantastically expressed or 
containing an element of exaggeration, have found eloquent 
advocates at this day. However stern the law might appear, 
however pitiless, it was seen that it worked out for the general 
good. What seemed to be an impediment to progress was 
really its cause. By death came life, out of war came 

Through the operation of this same law mankind also has The uses 

of war. 

progressed, and among the agencies which are conducive 
to progress, however paradoxical it may sound, is the institu- 
tion of war. A one-sided pessimist, viewing the devasta- 
tions that war entails, the demoniacal passions let loose, 
the towns burnt down, might pronounce it an unmitigated 
scourge of humanity. The truth is, however, that it is far 
from being the unqualified evil which it appears to be at the 
first glance. The history of an advance of civilization is 
largely the history of military improvement. War has also 
its arousing and purifying effects. Its direct influence is 
visible in the awakening of a slumbering patriotism, in 
evoking the spirit of self-sacrifice and self-denial, in 
necessitating submission to discipline for the common cause, 
in inspiring caution and circumspection. That is not all. 
It reacts upon the internal condition of a race, country or 
state, by cementing and consolidating the body corporate in 
the face of dangers from without and forbidding disorders 
within, by stimulating the powers of invention, by imparting 
an impulse to the cultivation of the arts of life and by widen- 
ing the intellectual horizon. So, however devoutly the best 
friends of humanity may and must hope for the immediate 
abolition or gradual extinction of war, they may indulge 
the consoling reflection that its existence has been attended, 
if not by some compensating advantages, at any rate by 
some alleviations. 

It is, however, no part of our purpose to trace in detail 
the effects of warfare upon society, but only to select a few 
features out of so large a subject for consideration. That 


an in- 
factor: its 
effects on 
the life ot 
Greek and 

No Aryan 
word for 

primitive warfare left a deep and lasting impression upon 
social life in Greece and Italy is seen in a variety of ways. 
The languages of Greece and Italy and other countries, 
which present parallels to Greek and Italian institutions, 
bear testimony to the prominent part which war played in 
public life, and at the same time chronicle the progress of 
sentiment in regard to war. It is highly significant, as 
affording an insight into the conditions of life, that in the 
stock of words which form the intellectual currency of the 
Aryan world, no word exists for peace in the modern sense 
of the term. The fact is, the idea of " peace" appears for 
the first time in words which mean simply a cessation from 
hostilities. Such is the Old Slovenic pokoj, which originally 
bore the meaning of " rest " and afterwards that of " peace." l 
Such, too, in all probability, is the Latin indutiae (in-du-tiae), 
a state of "not" (in) being at "war" (du-ellum)? On the 
other hand, words for peace occur for the first time after the 
Aryans parted company, as in the Greek elprjvtj (eppir]vrj) from 
the root ver which appears in epeco, " say," and fpijrpa, 
"agreement," "covenant," and in the Latin pax?* which 
evidently connotes a compact (pangere, " fasten," " fix," 
" agree "). The inference is that in the ages anterior to the 
separation of the several branches of the Aryan family war 
was the normal condition of life, a condition only interrupted 
when one or both belligerents could carry on the conflict no 
longer, or from some equally efficient cause. 

But if words for peace are wanting, there is no lack of 
terms for war and battle two words which were not, and 
would hardly be expected to be, distinguished in an age 

1 Cf. Schrader, Reallex., p. 481. 

* So Osthoff, and Schrader inclines to the same view (Reallex. 481). 
It may be mentioned, however, that the word has been generally derived 
from indu-itiae, "a going into rest or retirement." Cf. Aur. in 'Cell. i. 
25, 17. 

3 The idea of uniting or cohesion is used to express peace, and war is 
regarded as an interruption or disturbance of this feeling of union. Cf. 
Slavonic mir, "community," "peace"; Turco-tatar z7, "people," "nation," 
" peace." Cf. Ch. xx., p. 271 n., and Va'mbe'ry, Die Primitive Cnltur des 
TwrkoTatar. Volkes, 121, 129. 


when war, however fierce, was pursued only on a small 
scale. Under this category come the Sanskrit yudh, b2tie a at d 
" combat," and the Greek wr/ui^, " battle," the Irish cath? SS? y "moi. 
the Old Slovenic kotora? and the Latin duellum, an earlier 
form of bellum, which is retained in technical terms like 
perduellis, a " public enemy." 3 These words take us back to 
the social infancy of the Aryan races and belong to a common 
inheritance of terms, which were retained after these races 
severally assumed an independent existence, and survived J^f JJf J e 
in their languages as fossilized specimens of their earliest jjj^jjj.' 
experiences. But apart from these words which are derived warfare, 
from this common treasury, the separate languages embraced 
many words which illustrate the growth of ideas in relation 
to war in an interesting manner. The history of some 
words is the history of a campaign and others are charged 
with meaning. Allusion has already been made to </>uXo7rt9, 4 
which from indicating the battle-cry of the tribesmen, after- 
wards came to bear the meaning of war-cry in general. But 
many more words might be included in the same list. Some 
of the terms employed by Homer are highly suggestive. 
"Tor/jLivrj is one of the number. It suggests the idea of a 
hand-to-hand engagement. 5 ^Tparos, " army," " camp," 
has been traced to crrptovvvfjii, to "spread out," but others 6 
connect it with the Irish trtt, "herd." 'Aperij illustrates 
the growth of the estimation of the noblest qualities in the 
eyes of the primitive Greek. Though it bore originally the 
meaning of goodness or excellence in general (as witness its 
root ap), 7 the Homeric hero, war being his natural element, 

1 Cf. the Sanskrit fdfru, "victor" or "foe"; Celt. Caturiges, "battle- 
kings"; Old High German Hadu-brant, "battle-flame," Haduwich, 
" battle-strife " (German Hedwig] ; German Hader, " strife." 

2 O. Schrader, Reallex., p. 480. 

8 An enemy actually waging war against a country ; later hostis was 
used. Though perduellio was used for " high treason," parricidas (not 
perduellis) was used for " traitor." 

4 See Ch. xxii., p. 295. 

5 Root/tf-dft. Vanicek quotes the Sanskrit judh-md, " fight," " battle." 

6 Cf. Schrader, Reallex. 352. 

7 Indicating "appropriateness," "fitness." Cf. apnptWo, "join" or 
" fit together," " suit," " please." 



applied the word to manly qualities, especially martial 
valour. To him bravery in war was at once the most agree- 
able diversion and the highest embodiment of manhood. 
Afterwards in Attic Greek the word acquired the meaning 
of moral worth, and in this sense it was almost universally 
used by later writers. Still, the original signification is not 
entirely lost sight of, since it always connoted active excel- 
lence rather than the strictly moral virtues. 

The Latin word virtus, which signified the sum of all the 
bodily and mental excellences of man, bore a corresponding 
meaning, for a man's (yir) chief merit lies in resolution and 
bravery. Indeed, Latin, being the language of a race which 
was pre-eminently bellicose by instinct as well as by the 
conditions of its development, and was consequently rich 
in military resource, furnishes many words which shed an 
interesting light on the advance and improvements of the 
art of war. The commonest words contain some instructive 
elements. The primitive import of miles may be one who 
formed part of a thousand (mille), that being the number of 
a military division ; T this theory, however, seems to ante- 
date the use of the decimal system in military array and 
military evolutions too far ; others assign to it the meaning 
of mercenary. 2 But legio, a later term (derived from legere in 
the sense of " choosing ") denoted primarily a picked body 
of men, 3 was subsequently applied as a numerical term to 
the combined forces of three thousand warriors, and after- 
wards sub-divided by tens and hundreds. Exercitus, "army," 
probably denotes simply a trained body of men, and then 
" army " ; it has, however, been traced by some to arx, 
" citadel." Unquestionably the verb exercere is composed 
of ex, arcere (in the sense of to " drive on," " keep at work," 
" train," " practise "), and arcere (to "drive," "ward off") 
in its turn took its origin from arx, but to refer exercere 
directly to arx seems a strained interpretation. Yet another 

1 Root mil, "to unite," "combine." Cf. Varro L.L. 5, 89, Miiller. 

2 Cf. the Greek piMs, Schrader, Reallex., 352. 

3 Varro L.L. 5, 87, Miiller. 


word which is illustrative of the growth of thought in Italy 
is supplied by latro. This term exhibits the decline of the 
military system, when citizen-soldiers (quirites) * were sup- 
plemented by those who took up arms as a profession. It 
gradually acquired the contemptuous sense of " freebooter," 
" robber," 2 a change of meaning which throws a lurid light 
upon the proceedings of these free-lances. 

But language was not the only thing which bore the influence 
impress of the institution of war. Throughout the social 
organization of Greece and Italy, of which we have spoken 
in a previous chapter, runs the idea that the organized body, 
whether it be clan, brotherhood or tribe, must be effective 
in time of war as well as in time of peace. It was there 
pointed out that relationship was the principle adopted as 
a basis of arrangement on the battlefield, and acted as a arra y- 
ground for confidence and an incentive to gallantry in 
action. It prevailed at one time in India, Germany 
and Gaul, and still obtains in Afghanistan. The " clan," 
"brotherhood," "tribe," and "people," therefore, were in 
the earliest times the army, and each member of the com- 
munity esteemed it at once a duty and a privilege to fight 
for the common weal. 

With the lapse of time, however, regular armies came into The insti- 
being. At what date the change took place it would be idle 
to speculate. Yet we are not left in the dark altogether as 
to the nature and consequences of this innovation. Some 
of the words which have already been quoted point to the 
tendency in favour of establishing a standing army, and to 
the line of policy pursued in its formation. The word classis some 

r i i T 11 1111 technical 

is of their number. It recalls the time when the whole body terms and 
of citizens were called to arms, for it is derived from the meaning. 
root cat which occurs in calo, " call," " summon " ; clamo, 

1 According to Mommsen, Roman History i. 7, 69. But Dr. Schrader 
takes a different view. See his SpracJrvergleichung und Urgeschichte t 
p. 572. 

- Varro L.L. 7, 52 ; Festus, p. 118, Miiller. Cf. the Greek Xcirpir, root 
Xa-, Xaf, in Xei'a, " spoil," " booty." 


"cry," "call"; and the Greek KaXeco, "call." 1 Exercitus 
suggests that attention was devoted to the study of the 
military art, and the training to which the chosen body of 
men was obliged to submit. Miles may point to the adoption 
of the decimal system of enumeration which in later times 
was so characteristic of the Roman army. Latro again 
affords an insight into the decline of a citizen militia whose 
interests were intimately bound up with those of the com- 
munity. To them the issue of the conflict was a matter of 
the highest moment, and the subsequent rise of irregular 
mercenaries who sold their swords to the highest bidder, 
and by sparing neither friend nor foe, earned an unenviable 
reputation, indicated a waning of public spirit. 

Nor was religion free from the influence of war. To say 
nothing at this point of the frequent collisions that must 
have occurred on religious grounds, it will suffice to refer 
here to the prominent part which the gods played in primi- 
tive warfare. Of these we shall have occasion to speak at 
greater length by-and-by. Indeed, no aspect of warfare in the 
primitive stages of social development forces itself upon the 
notice of the reader more strongly than the prominence given 
to the divine element. Hostilities were not begun without 
animated appeals to the gods, without ascertaining their will 
and pleasure, and endeavouring to propitiate their favour. 
When, however, their goodwill was once secured the 
warriors marched to the onset or rushed to the fray to the 
accompaniment of the hymn to Apollo or Indra or Mars. 

The truth is, that in the estimation of the primitive Greek 
and Italic races, they all waged war, and each combatant 
fought under the eye of a patron god and goddess, who smiled 
upon heroic achievement, aided their favourites with their 
presence, and helped them on to victory or protected them in 

1 The method of summoning the people together affords a fresh 
instance of the tenacity of religious tradition. For when the military 
bugle (classicum, the trumpet used in convoking the classis) had been 
generally adopted, the pontifices still adhered to the custom of calling 
them together by word of mouth. 


defeat. Nay, these celestial visitants who often walked the 
earth among mortal men deigned at times to take part per- 
sonally in the engagement. The Trojan war, which we regard 
as acollision between Asiatic and European civilization, was to 
the Greek a contest between gods and goddesses of Olympus 
who cherished ancient animosities against each other, and 
these august deities moved among the ranks and frequently 
manifested themselves to their followers. Eris or Discord 
sets the conflict going and gives the signal for it. Hera 
ranges herself on the side of the Greeks ; Aphrodite lends her 
countenance to the Trojans ; Pallas Athene assists Odysseus 
with her counsel, and, armed with the mystic aegis, strikes 
terror into the hearts of men. 

To discuss the origin and character of such divinities 
singly would lie outside the scope of this inquiry, and, besides, 
something will be said hereafter upon the chief characteristics 
of the Greek and Latin religions. But one or two broad 
features in these war-gods and goddesses call for comment. 

The first point relates to the national, tribal, or local gods Local 
who are constantly appearing on the scene in the legendary god 
periods of Greece and Italy. It has already become plain 
that both these countries were occupied by successive waves 
of population, and that even the Aryan elements super- 
imposed upon the previous strata gradually accommodated 
themselves to their environment, and absorbed or amalga- 
mated with those whom they reduced to submission. There Greek 

. . mythology 

is a strong presumption in favour of supposing that in this an a ge io- 

mythological amalgam some of the Greek deities combined 

or gathered up in their persons the attributes of more than 

one divinity, but it is in some cases impossible to disentangle 

the several threads. The result of this coalescence of tribes Religious 

was an identification of the god of one tribe with the god of cretism. 

another, to whom he was supposed to bear a resemblance. 

Sometimes the deity of a conquered population retired into 

the background, and retained only a subordinate position. 

Or gods, whose character .according to the popular belief 

corresponded, formed friendly groups, and were described as 


kinsfolk in mythological accounts. Or if their natures were 
so dissimilar that such a fusion or combination was im- 
practicable, the female deities were represented as taken to 
wife by a deity of an exalted order. The duplicate names 
Pallas Athene and Phoibos Apollon perhaps afford illustra- 
tions of the former principle ; the marriage of Zeus, the god 
of the bright sky, with his consorts lo, the moon, Leto, a 
goddess of night, Demeter, the corn goddess, and Hera, also 
an earth goddess originally, furnish an example of the second 
process. The religious history of Rome presents to view a 
parallel development, and confirms the explanation offered 
above in regard to Greece. But, as has been observed 
previously, the mythology of Italy, where not borrowed from 
Greece, is of a jejune and barren character. Each tribe of 
which Rome was composed contributed a god who brought 
his tribal worship with him. Each tribe added a priest or 
a college of priests, 1 and the original Roman priesthoods 
can be distinguished from derivatives by not being divisible by 
some tribal number. But the question, how much belonged 
to each race, must remain a matter of conjecture and is 
subject to the greatest uncertainty. Perhaps we have in 
the conflict of the Olympian deities with their predecessors a 
dim record of the conflict of the old order of gods and the 
new. Certainly the early poets present to view a mosaic of 
several various religious elements. Whatever the different 
races respectively contributed to the national pantheon, 
partly through political influences, blending conquering and 
conquered, partly through the poet-priests who voiced the 
national sentiment, like the mythical Orpheus, Musaeus, 
Eumolpus, and Thamyris, the circle of Olympian deities 
were invested with a halo of special sanctity, obtained a 
firm and permanent footing in Greece and maintained their 
supremacy, till philosophic scepticism on the one hand and 

1 Thus, for example, Quirinus, the chief god of the Sabines, resembled 
Mars, and so close was the correspondence considered that the two gods 
coalesced. Still, each deity had his special priest, Mars the Flamen 
Martialis, Quirinus the Flamen Quirinalis. 


Christianity on the other dissolved the airy fabric of Hellenic 

The worship of Ares in Greece affords an apt illustration war gods 
of the conglomeration of various racial elements and con- 
sequently of religious cults which has just been mentioned. 
That this god was originally the chief god of the Thracian 
tribes is probable for several reasons. This race had made 
its way into Thessaly, Bceotia and Phocis, with Ares at its 
head, and the character of the god was certainly consonant 
with the character of his votaries. He typifies in Greek the 
brute force of war. There are reasons, however, for sup- 
posing that he was in the first instance a death-god dwelling 
in the Lower World, but that he afterwards developed into 
the patron god of war, and as such he was admitted into 
Greece. His name, Ares, itself is significant, for it contains 
the same root as apery, 1 and a/uoTo?, "best " or " bravest." 
The grim spectres of Terror, Panic, and Strife follow in 
his wake, and Keres (or " goddesses of doom "), who are 
represented as " black women in bloody garb," also figure 
in his train. His symbols are the spear and the torch, 
which are doubtless emblematical of the havoc wrought in 

Mars is the counterpart of Ares in Italy, and he too Mars, 
furnishes an instance of the same combination of various 
elements as in Greece; but his original character and 
antecedents are not easy to determine. The probability is 
that he had some connection with the spring, and in that 
capacity he took under his protection both flocks and fields. 
However that may be, certain ceremonies of his worship 
were associated with the spring. In the month which was 
consecrated to the god, his priests or Salii, executed war 
dances, accompanying their movements with a song in 
which they invoked his watchful providence upon their 
meadows, crops, and vineyards. To him also was dedicated 
the ver sacrum ("consecrated springtide "), that is, the vow 

1 Cf. pp. 369, 370. 


made in emergencies or disaster to sacrifice the produce 
of the next spring. These facts countenance the theory 
that we have in Mars an original spring-god, but, whatever 
his origin, he became closely identified in the beliefs of all 
the tribes of Central Italy with war. The beginning of the 
season for war coincided with the season of spring. His 
title, Gradivus (" marcher" or " approacher "), dates from a 
high antiquity, and attests his warlike character. The spear 
is his sacred symbol also, as it is of Ares. His favourite 
bird and beast are typical of their patron the woodpecker, 
whose beak and plume suggested the aspect of a warrior's 
helmet ; the wolf, fit symbol of bloodshed. 1 

To return to the connection of these tribal gods with the 
conduct of warlike operations. The belief that the local 
war spirit takes an immediate interest in the military enter- 
prises of his people manifests itself in a variety of ways, and 
in some particulars betrays a curious correspondence with 
Bribery of the habits of savages at this day. The Basuto in South 
Africa is an instance in point. While engaged in harrying 
his neighbour's territory, it is said that he will hiss and yell, 
in order to create an impression in the mind of the spirit of 
the rival tribe that he is driving a herd of sheep or cattle. 
The manifest design is to delude the divinities of the country 
attacked into the belief that he is bringing victims for the 
use of their worshippers. 2 The Romans in the same manner 
endeavoured to bribe the gods of their foes to desert and 
come over to their side, where they were assured of rich and 
costly offerings. Further, it will be remembered that at the 
siege of Jerusalem by the legionaries of Titus, when all hope 
was lost and the doom of the Holy City was sealed, the 
besiegers averred that they distinctly heard a supernatural 
voice from the shrine say, " The gods are departing," 
followed by the loud sound of the departing divinities. 3 In 

1 Cf. Steuding, p. 116. 

2 Casalis, The Basutos, p. 253. 

3 Tacitus, Hist. v. 13. Cf. Vergil, &neid*\. 625. 


like manner, the stratagem employed by Themistocles 
during the Persian War, in order to reconcile his fellow- 
citizens to the temporary abandonment of Athens in the face 
of overwhelming odds, found ready acceptance. For calling 
superstition to his aid he declared that the sacred serpent 
had disappeared from the Temple of Athene. "The goddess," 
he gave out, " forsakes her abode. Why should we delay to 
follow her ? " The fact is, many instances might be added 
of this deep-rooted belief in the existence and intervention 
of local divinities l at supreme crises in the history of the 
race over whose destinies they presided. 

This consideration dictated the desire to maintain in strict secrecy 


secrecy the name of the tutelary god or goddess ; for upon 

the presence of the patron deity the safety of the community deit y- 
depended. 2 The consequence was that the severest penalty 
awaited anyone who divulged the mystery, and one instance 
is placed on record where the culprit was put to death. 3 

The explanation of this remarkable belief is probably to 
be sought in the confusion between names and the persons 
who bear them a characteristic of races in a savage state. 
Such a superstition exists among the American Redskins, as 
in the following extract from an Indian legend. Yellow Sky 
was a daughter of the Shawnee tribe, whose being was 
involved in mystery. When she consented to marry she im- 
plored her husband that he " might never breathe her name." 
She died, and in her last moments repeated her request. 
For five summers he lived in solitude, but, alas, one day in 
forgetfulness he uttered the forbidden name. He fell to the 

1 The idea is not unfamiliar to readers of the Hebrew Scriptures. 
Such is the episode mentioned in i Kings xx. 23 : " And the servants of 
the king of Syria said unto them, Their gods are gods of the hills ; 
therefore they were stronger than we ; but let us fight against them in 
the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they." 

2 Cf. the care exercised by the Trojans to preserve the Palladium, or 
image of Pallas, and a similar superstition concerning the ancile in the 
temple of Mars at Rome. For the same reason the Romans fettered the 
image of Saturnus, Macrob. i. 8, 5, and the Tyrians that of Herakles 

8 Pliny iii. 9 ; the offender's name was Valerius Soranus. 


earth in great pain, and as darkness settled round about him 
a change came over him. Next morning near the grave of 
Yellow Sky a large buck was quietly feeding. It was the 
unhappy husband. 1 

Animism. The second point, which demands notice in connection 
with the war-spirits or war-gods of ancient Greece and Italy, 
refers to the animistic idea, which underlies some super- 
stitions which had a great vogue especially among the 
Romans in all ages. That the war-god or war-spirit 
accompanied his warriors to the field, interposing in their 
behalf and prospering their undertaking, has always been 
the firm conviction of races on a low level of civilization. 
The ancestors of the Greeks and Romans nay, they them- 
selves were no exception to the remark. 

The Roman war-spirit Janus affords a good illustration. 
At first he is the god of the doorway (ianus) or of the door 
(ianua), opener and inaugurator of all movements, such as 
the summer and the revolving year. Afterwards he was 
identified with war, than which no enterprise was more 
important in the eyes of a Roman. Hence the custom of 
opening the vaulted gateway of his temple was a prelude to 
hostilities. It was kept open while the army remained in the 
field. To this Vergil alludes in the ^Eneid : 

Sunt gemmae Belli portae, sic nomine dicunt, 
Religione sacrae et ssevi formidine Martis ; 
Centum aerei claudunt vectes aeternaque ferri 
Robora, nee custos absistit limine Janus : 
Has, ubi certa sedet patribus sententia pugnae, 
Ipse Quirinali trabea cinctuque Gabino 
Insignis reserat stridentia limina consul ; 
Ipse vocat pugnas, sequitur turn cetera pubes, 
Aereaque adsensu conspirant cornua rauco. 2 



of his 

1 Dorman, Myths and Dreams, 157, quoted by Clodd. So too in 
Colombia, Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, 243. 

2 vii. 601-604, "There are twain gates of war, so runs their name, 
consecrate in grim Mars' sanctity and terror. An hundred bolts of brass 
and masses of everlasting iron shut them fast, and Janus the guardian 
never sets foot from their threshold. There, when the sentence of the 
Fathers stands fixed for battle, the Consul, arrayed in the robe of 
Quirinus and the Gabine cincture, with his own hand unbars the grating 


The doors are flung wide open in order that the god may 
march out with his hosts. 1 

We pass on to consider the development of the successive 
stages of warfare. As has been previously remarked, 2 it is 
hard to differentiate between these periods, and we can 
never say for certain when, where, and how a practice came 
into existence, or how a belief won recognition. Notwith- 
standing this uncertainty, however, we can reasonably 
conjecture the general lines of development, and indicate the 
chief characteristics of warfare in the several periods through 
which the early Greeks and Romans presumably passed. 

In the hunting stage, which on good grounds we have The 
assumed to have been the earliest period of civilization, so sta ee. 
far as it can be traced, the methods pursued in warfare were 
of the crudest character. Stones roughly cut or hewn, 
stakes sharpened and burnt at the end, or tipped with horn, 
the bow and arrow, these would furnish the sole weapons of 
offence and defence. 3 The wild warriors of that day retained 
possession of the appliances with which they had been 
endowed, but they originated none. They continued to use 
the same methods which nature gave them at their birth, 
but they did not improve upon them. 

The " natural " races are always in a latent state of war. causes of 
It stands to reason that wars in such an early period as this th^ladies 
would arise from personal and often from trifling causes. 
Quarrels between an individual or family might offer an Family 

f T^ it- quarrels. 

occasion for an encounter. Each party to the dispute would 
be joined by the members of his family. But the con- 
test would not terminate there. Their forces would be 

doors, with his own lips calls battles forth ; then all the rest follow on, 
and the brazen trumpets blare harsh with consenting breath." (J. W. 
MACKAIL, transit) 

1 It is stated that on the outbreak of war the general entered the 
temple of Mars, shook the spear of the god, and raised the cry, " Mars, 
vigila." Cf. Servius on sEneid viii. 3, and x. 228, Vigilasne, deum 
gens, >Enea ? 

3 Ch. ix., pp. 98, 99. 

3 Lucretius v. 1283 ; Horace, Ep. i. 3, 100; Diodor. i., p. 28 ; iii., p. 194 ; 
Hygin., Fab. 272 ; Strabo iii. 255 ; xvii. 177 ; Suidas ii., p. 90. 


strengthened by the accession of kinsmen and friends. 
Ultimately the melee would become general and produce 
far-reaching consequences. 1 

Famine. Under pressure of famine, again, they would sometimes be 
obliged to fight for food, at others for shelter. Nothing 
proved a more fruitful source of border warfare than 
contentions for animals 3 and pasture land ; and the develop- 
ment of words originally associated with oxen into technical 
terms for war is sufficient testimony to the frequency of 
conflicts arising from cattle-lifting and to the feuds that were 
in consequence set on foot. 8 

Fights for N O d ou b t th e competition for wives, especially among 
tribes where exogamy (i.e. extra-tribal marriage) prevailed 
gave rise to such contests as these. Under such circum- 
stances the struggle would be sustained with ungovernable 
fury, each side bent on gratifying passion or glutting 
vengeance. A series of reprisals would as a result be 
inaugurated, and long-standing antipathies, which would 
be terminated only by the annihilation of one or the other 
party of combatants. 4 

v<e metis. The mode of life of the inhabitants reacted upon their 
methods of warfare. The aim of natural races is to exter- 
minate the adversary ; they do not hesitate to destroy the 
women and children, root and branch ; their methods of 
warfare would naturally be in harmony with such principles. 
Practices employed in the chase were doubtless carried into 
the field of battle, and the habit of stalking and waylaying 
wild beasts would suggest surprises, treachery, and am- 
buscade in war. Accustomed to slaughtering his quarry, 
the conqueror was hardly likely to be betrayed into any 
exhibition of remorse in his treatment of a fallen foe, but 

1 Cf. Ratzel, 136. 

2 Thuc. i. 5 ; Iliad, xxiv. 262. 

3 Cf. J. Grimm, Gesch. der deutschen Sprache, p. 17 ; Homer, Iliad 
xi. 401, 677, 683 ; xiv. 230, 263 ; Odyss. i. 40 ; iv. 175 ; xi. 401 ; xvi. 425 ; 
xvii. 432. See Ch. ix., 106. 

4 A quarrel between two papooses (children) about a grasshopper led to 
the extermination of a tribe of North American Indians. 


thirst for revenge, acting upon passions untempered by a 
sense of humanity, would gloat in inflicting refined punish- 
ments, like impalement, blinding, and mutilation, upon 
those who lay under his heel. In short, as they expected no 
quarter, so they would give none. 

That the hunting period was succeeded by an age when s e toral 
pasture afforded the chief means of subsistence has been period, 
observed in a previous page. 1 Mythology and language 
concur in describing the important position occupied by the 
ox, not only as a source of livelihood, but also as an 
instrument of civilization. As it was the standard of wealth 
and medium of exchange, so it was the coveted prize in war, 
and, in matter of fact, the ox has left its traces upon military 
terminology. Goshu-yudh, " one fighting for the cows," is 
one of the terms for warrior in the Vedic hymns. Gdv-ishti, 
is another, which first meant "striving for cows," and after- 
wards " battle." 2 

The history of the Roman god Mars is interesting in this Mars^ 
connection. Like many other deities who figure in the {J nt f 
Roman pantheon, his history exhibits a gradual development 
running parallel to the fortunes that attended his people 
and the changes which they underwent. The earliest in- 
habitants of Rome were evidently shepherds and tillers of 
the soil, but with the influx of other settlers, especially the 
Sabines, and the consequent fusion of elements that ensued, 
the character of the people became altered, and the aspect of 
their gods experienced a corresponding change. None 
occupied a more prominent place in their religious traditions 
than Mars. Whether this deity denoted originally the " god 
of death," or a " sun-god," or the " spring-god," 3 it is not 
easy to determine definitely. Whatever Mars may have 
been in an earlier epoch, whether sun-god or spring-god, 
after the amalgamation of the various racial elements he 

1 Ch. ix., pp. 102, 103. 

2 Cf. Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 293. 

3 Tiele, Geschiedenis van ilen Godsdienst, 138, n. 


claimed the largest number of votaries at Rome. He was a 
protector of flocks and field produce, and the god of war. 

The next step, as was seen in a previous chapter, was the 
adoption of agriculture. With its rise war assumed another 
aspect. It may be recognized as a general principle that, in 
an early stage of civilization, every male adult will be able 
to fight, and that war is the passion of that period, but that as 
a people progresses in civilization the number of fighting 
population diminishes and their temper abates something of 
its former ferocity. On the other hand, higher interests 
are now at stake, and the contest is waged with greater 
stubbornness. No longer does the issue turn upon the 
possession of rights to hunting or fishing grounds as in the 
hunting age, or upon the protection of flocks and herds as in 
the purely pastoral age, or upon a year's crop of corn, such 
as formed the staple means of subsistence in an earlier 
system, half pastoral, half agricultural. No longer can the 
defeated party betake themselves to flight and seek fresh 
pastures. No longer are flocks and herds put to the hazard, 
but the vine and olive, 1 on which long labour and time have 
been bestowed, the objects of studious care and solicitude, 
and the slaves also who work on the soil no insignificant 
part of the stock and property of the primitive farmer all 
these lie at the mercy of the conqueror. Such considera- 
tions conspire to embitter the struggle. Accordingly, war 
is invested with new terrors and brings fresh horrors in 
its train. 

The organization of the army, or rather of the hordes of 
this primitive stage of culture next demands our attention, 
and we proceed to trace briefly the transition from the use of 
tumultuary levies to a system of trained bodies of troops. 

Jt nas already appeared that success depended upon force 
Ju rather than skill, and that a powerful physique, commanding 
important. p resence> an( j bravery in action were indispensable qualities 

1 The importance attached to trees inspired the prohibition in 
Deut. xx. 19, 20. Cf. Herod, i. 17. 



in a warrior, and special recommendations in a chief. Even 
during the Homeric age, in which presumably warfare was 
more regular and methodical, bodily strength is the fore- 
most characteristic of the warrior. Achilles, Ajax, and 
Agamemnon, not Odysseus or Nestor, are the natural leaders 
of the army before the walls of Troy. 

This circumstance will explain the further fact that in * f o n f 
the earliest epoch, or certainly while the Aryans were still cavalry, 
undifferentiated, the rank and file fought on foot. And this 
point possesses a social significance as well, for it is closely 
connected with a social movement, to which some reference 
has already been made. While discussing the origin of^ t n h n ^1ai 
class distinctions it became clear that the rise of horse chan & es - 
soldiers or cavalry was closely associated with the rise of a 
nobility. We saw that the Roman burgess and Greek 
citizen marched on foot. We saw also that an aristocracy, 
partly supported by their wealth, partly aided by unfounded 
pretensions to a long line of ancestry, in course of time 
formed themselves into a separate arm. Yet the change 
was only gradually effected, for it is known that even as 
late as the battle of Marathon, at Athens, which afterwards 
acquired and plumed itself upon a powerful cavalry, only a 
few families possessed horses which were available for 
purposes of war. 

The question of the use of mounted soldiers in war is also S e eo? w ~ 
bound up with the art of riding. 1 It may be safely assumed ridin *- 
that the use. of chariots preceded the use of horses for that j** 
purpose. Antecedently this might be assumed from the cavalf y- 
comparative easiness of the art of driving. But this is not 
the only evidence. 2 It is clear that in the Vedas and in 
Homer riding, though not unknown, is an art, and the 
Greek poet refers only to the performance of a professional 

On the other hand, the references in Homer to chariots S V Homer. 

1 Cf. Ch. ix., p. 1 10. 

2 Cf. Palrcphat., De incred., c. i., p. 9. 


and fighters from chariots are frequent enough, 1 and the 
Mycenaean remains bear out his testimony. It may be 
assumed, therefore, that in the Homeric age bodies of 
cavalry were unknown, that chariot-fighting itself was ex- 
ceptional, that it was confined to those of high rank and not 
always practised by that class of society. 2 The picture 
presented by the Homeric poems is almost as follows. The 
nobles form the chief strength of the Greek army and decide 
the day. They fight from chariots, and at their side stands 
the charioteer, frequently not their inferior in birth or 
bravery. The active combatants compete with each other 
in feats of daring, and their dearest wish is by their prowess 
to win fame, and, in Vergil's phrase, "fly triumphing on the 
lips of men." The irregular infantry, composed of the de- 
pendents of the noble class, take no conspicuous share in 
the engagements. A battle was consequently little more 
than a series of single combats which depended on the 
physical strength of an army more than on skill in the use of 
sword or spear, and on personal bravery more than on 
stratagem. 3 

The method of fighting in Italy offers an intrinsic con- 
trast to the above scenes. For it would appear that the art 
of riding supplanted chariot driving at an earlier date in 
this country. The three hundred celeres or knights, a term 
especially applied to the bodyguard of the king, 4 are described 

1 Cf. Iliad iv. 303 ; xvi. 776 ; and Odyss. xxiv. 40. Apparently mares 
were chiefly used for this purpose. Cf. Iliad ii. 763, but see also ii. 839. 

2 The same phenomenon presents itself in India. Though riding is 
not unknown in the Vedas (Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 295), this fact does not 
imply the use of cavalry. But in course of time as in Greece and Italy, 
so in India cavalry became a recognized arm. Cf. Zimmer, ibid. 294 and 
Kaegi, Der Rigveda, p. 28 and n. 61, who describes their position on the 
battlefield. Undoubtedly the war chariot was an eastern invention. It 
was a product of the broad plains that lay on the banks of the Euphrates 
and Tigris. Afterwards it was adopted by the Indians in one direction, 
by Syrians and Egyptians in the other. Ultimately, as we have seen, it 
found its way to Greece. Cf. Hehn, Kulturpflanzen, p. 19. Dr. 
Schrader, Reallex. 840, ascribes o-ariVr/, an early word for war chariot, to 
the influence of Asia Minor. 

3 So in India, Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 296. 

4 Livy i. 15, 8. 


as mounted and belonged to the oldest military constitution 
of Rome. On the other hand, the chariot disappeared from 
view in proportion as the art of riding gained ground, not, 
however, without leaving a trace behind it in the triumphal 
car in which the victorious general rode in procession to the 
Capitol. As usual on occasions of special solemnity the 
Romans scrupulously observed archaic usages, and the 
appearance of the successful commander in the pageant 
riding in a chariot drawn by four white horses, was a vivid 
memorial of the most ancient practice of returning in a war 
chariot from the battlefield. 1 

But alterations in the constitution of the army or strategy The 

, beginnings 

were not the only changes consequent upon an advance in of formal 

..... . , et - r r ncgotia- 

civilization. Time served to soften the asperity of warfare ; 
hostilities were now declared with certain ceremonies, they 
were conducted in due form, and concluded with regular 
negotiations. These observances contained the germ of the 
international diplomacy and international courtesies of our 
own day. 

That it was usual in Homeric times to proclaim war Demand 
before the commencement of hostilities may be gathered 
from various passages. The Iliad furnishes illustrations of 
such negotiations before drawing the sword. Such is the 
embassy in which Odysseus and Menelaus acted, relating to 
the possession of the Greek Helen, who had been carried 
away by the Trojan Paris. 2 To take up arms without 
sending heralds 8 to proclaim hostilities was at all times a 
breach of faith, and the person of these messengers was 
sacred and inviolable. 

As might be expected from the military character of the The 
Romans, the observances connected with war were widely 
developed among them. The technical term for the 

1 Cf. R. von Ihering, 322. 

2 iii. 205. 

3 iro\(fjLos aKrjpvKTos, "unannounced," "sudden "(Herod, v. 81) ; "im- 
placable" (Xen., Anab. iii. 3, 5). 

C C 


challenge was clarigatio. 1 It was, strictly speaking, a 
solemn demand for redress, 2 and the following formalities 
were observed. In order to invest it with a sacred character 
and obtain the sanction of the gods, the fetialis* was 
entrusted with the office of demanding satisfaction. If 
restoration or reparation was refused, the same officials 
proceeded to declare war in the most solemn manner in the 
name of the gods and people of Rome. Arrived at the 
border of the enemy's territory, the chief of the fetiales, 
called pater patratus* hurled a spear across the boundary 
and called gods and men to witness the justice of his 
people's cause. 5 It is -clear that these ceremonies fulfilled 
a twofold purpose, to declare hostilities and to commend 
their cause to heaven. 

Truces and The spread of milder manners and the gradual growth of 
ofth ei b humane ideas is yet further attested by another practice 
which came into vogue the reverent treatment of the dead. 
With savage or uncivilized races at all times despoiling the 
dead was the sign of victory. The victor, therefore, prided 
himself on the spoils that he brought home as a proof of 
his prowess. But whatever the practice may have been 
originally, by Homer's time the honourable foeman shrank 
from offering this insult to his vanquished opponent. 

1 Clarigare, from clarus, " loud," " distinct." 

2 Their claim was termed res repetere, i.e. demand back from the 
enemy things which they had taken as booty. Cf. Varro L.L. 5, 86, 

3 Or "speaker," from fan, "to speak." 

4 From patro(r\ "execute/' "conclude." One of the conditions of the 
appointment of this official was that his father must be yet living and 
that he must have children of his own. He was entrusted with the 
charge of youths who required special care. Plutarch, Rom. Quesf., 
62, remarks upon this : " The man who hath the superintendence of 
treaties of peace and of others ought to see, as Homer saith, before and 
behind. And in all reason such an one is he like to be, who hath a child 
for whom, and a father with whom he may consult." 

5 Cf. Livy i. 32 ; Serv. on &neid ix. 53. The same usage obtained 
among Germans. Leist, Grcecoitalische Rechtsgesch. 449. Among the 
Turco-tatar races the name for a declaration of war is tug koturmek or 
kaMirmaJf, " lifting of the spear (namely, the banner) " ; tug tikmek, 
" planting the spear in the earth," denotes a halt. Vdmbe'ry, Die Prim. 
Cultur des Turko-Tatarischen Volkes, 124. 


From a superstitious dread he refrained from doing despite 
to his fallen antagonist or depriving him of the rites of 
burial. Such were the motives that actuated Achilles on 

one occason : 

Kara 8' cKravev 'Hcruova, 
iv cvdpic, (TcpavaraTO yap TO -ye 0v/x<p, 
'AAA.' apa ^.w Karc/oye arvv IKTCCTI 
'H8* erri 

Only after exasperation through the death of his bosom 
friend Patroclus could an Achilles stoop to despoil the body 
of the foe and drag his corpse behind his chariot-wheels. 2 
The remark was made on a previous page that no word N 

- .... . tionsfor 

for peace exists in the vocabulary which is common to the peace. 
Aryan races. This circumstance may be looked upon as an 
indication that wars were fought until one of the parties was 
exhausted or annihilated. Such a war was known in later 
times as bellum internecinum, 8 " war to the knife " or "of 
extermination." But traces are forthcoming, after the ^ r e e r e a 1 j ds 
Greek and Italic races assumed a separate existence and 
after humane ideas superseded the indulgence of racial 
hatreds, of a resort to negotiation. The same officials acted 
as in the formalities that preceded the conflict. A similar Roman 

1 ambassa- 

place was occupied in Italy by ambassadors. The earliest dors - 
term for these officials was oratores, " speakers," which 

1 Iliad vi. 416, " and he slew Eetion, yet he despoiled him not, for his 
soul had shame of that, but he burnt him in his inlaid armour and raised 
a barrow over him." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.) Cf. the threats 
in Iliad i. 4 ; Odyss. iii. 259 ; ^Eneid ix. 485 ; Ovid, Heroid xi. 83 ; 
Deut. xxviii. 26. 

2 The petitions of fallen foes, that their bodies may be spared, point in 
the same direction. Part of the spoils was reserved for a trophy, to mark 
the spot where victory had been gained and to commemorate the rout 
(rpora>, meaning to "turn," "put to flight"). It consisted of helmets and 
shields hung upon a tree with the branches lopped off, or a post with 
transverse timbers to represent the human frame. Cf. Vergil, sEneid xi. 
5, 16, 173. If the enemy once allowed these humiliating memorials of 
defeat to be erected the laws of war provided that they should be left 

a Or internedvum. Cf. internedo. 


occurs in the oldest literature of Rome. 1 But the word 
was superseded in process of time by the term legatus or 
" commissioner." 

Religious The religious character and significance attached to a 
of treaties, treaty appears from the formalities observed in concluding it. 

Greece. The very name for treaty in Greek, o-Tro^oW, contains a 
reference to the fact that at the conclusion of peace wine 
was poured out in libation to the gods (cr-Tre^Se^) in order to 
win their favour, to secure their co-operation, and to invite 

itaiy. their benedictions upon the parties to the contract. No less 
emphasis was laid upon the religious aspect of a treaty in 
Italy ; indeed, the Romans, with their usual punctiliousness 
in such matters, observed to the letter the traditionary 
principles in this particular, or, in their own language, mos 
maiorum, which their forefathers had handed down to them. 
But a detailed account of these proceedings would lie out- 
side the range of our investigation. It will suffice to 
mention one point. An historian furnishes the words of 
the formal oath recited in concluding peace : Si prior 
defexit publico consilio dolo malo, tu illo die, Juppiter, 
populum Romanum sic ferito ut ego hunc porcum hie 
hodie feriam : tantoque magis ferito quarito magis potes 
pollesque. 2 

1 Varro Non. pp. i, 362. G. Fetiales legates res repetitum mittebant 
quattuor, quos oratores vocabant. Ennius in Varro LL., 7, 41, Miiller, 
orator sine pace redit, regique refert rem. Plaut., Stick, iii. 2, 35 ; Cicero, 
Leg. ii. 9, 21. 

- Liv. i. 24, 8. " If (the Roman people) first depart from these condi- 
tions with common purpose and intentional deceit, on that day do thou, 
* Juppiter, so strike them as I shall here this day strike this swine, and do 
thou strike so much the more, the greater thy power and might." Cf. 
ix. 5, 3; Verg., sEneid. viii. 641, and the phrases fcedus icere, ferire, 
per cuter e, " to strike a treaty ; " also the proverbial expression Jovem 
lapidem iurare, which was applied to one who swore by Jupiter, holding 
in one hand a stone, in the other a knife with which he pierced the 
sacrificial sow (see Ch. xxvi., p. 360). The following extract from a letter 
in the Homeward Mail, March 4th, 1890, presents a curious resemblance 
to the practice described by Livy. "No. 4 Camp, Northern Lushai 
Column, Feb. 5. All the chiefs along the Khlong river seem most 
amicably inclined towards us. One, called Mumpunga, chief of a 
considerable village near here, came in yesterday, and took an oath of 


friendship to Mr. Murray, the political officer, according to the Lushai 
rites. The chief and Mr. Murray, each with a hand on a spear, plunged 
it into a pig ; then Mumpunga smeared some of the blood on Mr. Murray's 
forehead, and the latter returned the compliment. A similar ceremony 
was performed with a gayal. The chief then, pointing to the river 
flowing below, said, * Until yonder stream runs backwards will I be 
your friend.'" 

The custom of confirming friendship by means of blood is, however, 
not modern. Plutarch, in Publicola, speaking of the Romans, says, 

KO.I rS)v (nrkdyxvwv tityovras. Herod, iv. 70 (Carians) ; Lucian, 
Toxar. 37 ; Herod, iii. u (Greeks and Carians) ; Tacitus, Annals xii. 47. 




HOS- THE recognition of foreigners' rights, which was beginning 
Force y a to show itself in the resort to parley, negotiation, and treaty 
r for composing public quarrels, as described at the end of the 
last chapter, afforded a starting-point for future develop- 
ments of momentous import in the growth of culture. For 
such a recognition reveals an advance of thought and 
supplies a key to the secret of the greatness attained by 
certain civilized states in comparison with others. It is a 
commonplace of history that those races which have risen 
highest in the scale of civilization are just those which have 
acted and reacted upon each other by mutual communica- 
tion, amicable rivalry, and interchange of ideas. The early 
history of the Greeks and Italians in its several stages 
exhibits both features ; that is to say, the aloofness which 
marks the barbarian races and the sociability of the 
enlightened. At first they displayed a rooted suspicion and 
actual hostility towards those who were outside the pale. 
Afterwards, realizing the benefits that flowed from inter- 
tribal or international intercourse, they came to look on 
outsiders with a friendly eye. 

The institution of hospitality, therefore, is a highly 
significant criterion of culture. The principle operated in 
various ways. It exerted a softening effect on manners. It 
had an important influence in moulding and shaping the 
views in regard to property. This is not all. It laid the 
foundations of the international relations and international 
diplomacy of after ages. 


That the Greek outstripped the Italian in this respect will ?f u t p h e e riority 
become clear as we proceed. Meanwhile, it may be observed th? e i k ta < ii'an 
that Roman law only extended legal protection to strangers 
at a late period. Indeed, it is hardly too much to say 
that not until the introduction of Christianity were the 
barriers between the native and the foreigner broken down 

There are reasons for thinking that the idea of hospitality 
passed through the following phases. The tenour of human 
history runs thus. In the earliest stages of social evolution 
the foreigner simply has no rights which command con- 
sideration at the hands of his fellow-men. We have already 
had occasion to refer more than once to this trait in the 
character of primitive peoples. 1 It appears in various parts 
of the globe. " The appellation which the Iroquois give to 
themselves," says Robertson in his history of America, 3 " is 
'The Chief of men.' .... The Cherokees, from an idea 
of their own superiority, called the Europeans ' nothings ' 
or the 'accursed race,' and assumed to themselves the 
name of the ' beloved people.' . . . They called them 
(Europeans) the froth of the sea, men without father or 
mother. They suppose that either they have no country of 
their own and therefore invaded that which belonged to 
others ; or that, being destitute of the necessaries of life at 
home, they were obliged to roam over the ocean, in order to 
rob such as were more amply provided," Instances of such 
simplicity might be multiplied. The truth is, primitive 
races regard only members of their community, whether 
tribe or clan, as the case may be, as united to themselves 
by any civil tie. That the ancestors of European races who 
have stood or stand in the forefront of civilized nations at 
this day have at one time formed conceptions and harboured 
sentiments of this kind is clear from language, literature, and 
law. The ancient Germans inflicted neither banishment nor 

1 Cf. Ch. ii., pp. 12 n., 19 n.; iii., 31 n. 
' Book \v.,fin. 


penalty upon the slayer of a foreigner. 1 The Athenians, and 
the Romans as well, allowed a stranger the right to plead 
through a native-born representative only. 

Upon this point language furnishes an instructive com- 
men tary. The Greek word pdppapos originally meant 
" stammerers " 2 or " twitterers." 3 But it came to be applied 
to those who were strangers to Greek manners, especially to 
those who did not speak Greek, since language 4 formed 
the main line of demarcation between the Greek and the 
foreigner. 5 But jSdppapo? does not stand alone in this 
particular. The Sanskrit barbara not only bears upon its 
very surface proofs of 'its identity with the Greek word, but 
has passed through similar stages. It was used in the first 
instance of un- Aryan races in India and afterwards employed 
in a contemptuous sense to denote a man of lowest origin 
or intelligence. 6 The foregoing considerations, however, 

1 Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthumer, 397. 

2 Cf. the Latin balbus, balbutiens, "stammering," "stuttering"; whence 
the Spanish bobo, " blockhead," English " booby,'' Slovenic brbrati. 

3 It is used of birds : Soph., Antig, 1002, /3e/3ap/3apo>fieV6>, and Aris- 
tophanes, Birds, 199, pdpfiapoi. Cf. Herod, ii. 57, where the historian 
conjectures that the women who presided at the oracle of Dodona were 
called doves by the natives because they were barbarians and they 
seemed to chatter like *birds. Also Pliny, x. 42 : merula hieme balbutit. 
Cf. Ch. xiii., p. 154. 

4 Cf. the use of a-yAoxro-os- as an equivalent to ftdpftapos in Sophocles, 
Track. 1060. The Greeks in their contempt for everything foreign did 
not think it worth while studying foreign languages. Cf. xaXe7ro>repoi> i) 
f) He paiKT} 8id\fKTos. 

5 The later history of ftdp&apos is interesting. The word was adopted 
by the Romans in the form barbarus, and even they called themselves 
barbarians (Cf. Plautus, Asm. Prolog., u, Trin. Prolog. 19, Marcus 
vortit barbare, namely, Latine). The Greek writers of Byzantium called 
the Romans by this name to the last. But after the Augustan age 
barbarus was used of those who were strangers to Greek and Roman 
accomplishments, as "outlandish" might be. Finally the name was 
limited to the Teutonic races and perpetuated itself in the Romance 
languages. Cf. also Liddell and Scott in verb. 

6 Lanman, Sanskrit Reader, p. 200. The attitude assumed by natives 
towards foreigners finds expression in the languages of many other races. 
The following words afford illustrations : Hebrew Goim, " Gentiles " ; 
German Walsch, for Celt. The Slavonic expression for Germans is 
slightly different : ntmici, " dumb " ; and the Lithuanian proverb runs, 
" He is like a German, he doesn't understand the word (speech) of 


must not be taken to imply an application of the term 
fidpffapo? or a racial severance at a very early period. The 
probability is that the distinction is post-Homeric. For in 
Homer fidpffapos occurs but once, namely, in the compound 
tfappapdcfxovos (Iliad ii. 867), and there the word bears its 
primitive signification and indicates a man who spoke a 
corrupt form of Greek. 1 

The absence of a correlative term to fidpftapos points in NO 

. r distinctive 

the same direction. Apparently there was no distinctive ffjjj*^ 
name for Hellenes. This title was originally used of the ther. 
men of Phthiotis who followed Achilles to the wars. Such 
a supposition entirely accords with the state of Greece for 
which a grave historian like Thucydides vouches. After a 
careful examination of the evidence at his command he is 
driven to the conclusion that the Hellenic tribes, owing to 
their weakness and isolation, never united together in any 
great enterprise before the Trojan war. The legitimate 
deduction from the statement made by this author is, that 
the distinction between Hellene and Barbarian had not yet 
been drawn. But however that may be, in course of time The 
circumstances conspired to widen the gulf between the Aryan 
and the foreigner, and led the former to take up a more cne a my. 
decided attitude, namely, that of contempt towards those 
who crossed his path. The early experiences of the ancestors 
of Greek and Roman rendered such an attitude unavoid- 
able. Engaged, as they often must have been, in tribal 
feuds or petty warfare (the normal condition of primitive 
races), having no fixed habitation, no regulated system of 
government, but ranging far and wide in search of food, they 
could hardly fail to view strangers with suspicion, if not 
with positive hostility. 

The testimony of language is pertinent to our purpose The 

i i-n r 11 - . evidence 

here. That a connection exists between the following series f 


rational people." Schrader, Reallex., p. 922, and Miklosich, Ely. Worter- 
buch, p. 308. Cf. Herod, ii. 158 on the Egyptians. 

1 Cf. Strabo, p. 661, and Schrader, Handelsgeschichte und Waren- 
kunde, p. 4. 


of words, the Latin kostis, 1 the Old High German gast, and 

the Old Slovenic gostl is indisputable ; but their meanings 

divergence diverged. For while the German word gradually assumed 

and 1 fts nmg the signification of stranger simply, or friendly stranger, 2 the 

Latin term continued to connote unfriendliness, and became 


" enem y-" the regular expression for enemy. Yet at one time it bore 
the meaning of foreigner equally with the Germanic and 
Slovenic terms that have been quoted. 3 It is an attractive 
supposition that we have here a linguistic record of the 
fortunes of the Italic races, or certainly of the race with 
which the Latin language is chiefly associated, namely, the 
Roman people, a race to whom war was once a necessity of 
existence and always a natural passion. Whatever the cause 
of the softening of the meaning of the term maybe in Germanic, 
Gothic and Slavonic on the one hand, and its continued 
severity in Latin on the other, the fact remains that hostis 
was always used to denote enemy. But the idea of 
hospitality was not unknown to the Romans, as is proved 
^h*ost" ky the compound hospes, meaning " host " and " guest." 4 
"stranger " ^h e Greek word f ei/05 presents an interesting parallel to 
the Latin hostis. For that feVo? also at one time bore an 

6f. * 

invidious meaning is indicated by its derivation from the 
same root as the series already cited. The fe'i>o9, too, 
originally was regarded in the light of an injurer, a plun- 
derer, an enemy. If we were left in any doubt upon this 
matter it would be dispelled by the reflection that this 
explanation derives further countenance from history. For 
it is probably more than a coincidence that Sparta, the 
Rome of the Greek peninsula, the state which, in order 
to maintain the supremacy of the dominant people, trusted 

1 Namely, fostis, the letter / representing in Italic dialects the gh in 
other dialects. 

2 Under all of these words lay a root implying injury (root ska^ seen in 
a(TK.r)6i]s, " unhurt," " unharmed "), and hostis bears a recognizable relation 
to hasta, " spear." 

3 Hostis enim apud maiores nostros is dicebatur, quern nunc pere- 
grinum dicimus, Festus, p. 102. Cf. Cicero, De Off. i. 12, 37 ; 
Varro L.L. 5, 3, M tiller. 

4 Hostipets, meaning primarily " host," and then " guest " : Vanicek. 


for its security to incessant vigilance the state which had 
just cause for the exclusion of strangers, and at the same 
time adhered steadfastly or tenaciously to time-honoured 
traditions, should have been credited in antiquity with a 
wholesome prejudice against aliens. So much at any rate is 
implied in the word fei/T/Xao-ta, or " alien act," which is 
ascribed to them alike by the historian and the philosopher. 1 
The whole of the evidence therefore points to the con- 
clusion that the growth of language moved in parallel lines 
to the growth of ideas in the transition from unfriendly to 
friendly feeling between native and foreigner. 2 

Mythology comes to the aid of philology here and lends JJjJ ence ot 
its ray of light in the investigation. The legends that tell 
an age in which the rites of hospitality were habitually 
violated are numerous, and only one or two specimens can 
be adduced here. It is said, for instance, that the con- 
temporaries of Deucalion recognized no rights of man, and 
that in consequence their sins were visited on their heads, 
for they were overwhelmed by a destructive flood. We 
have already spoken of the unsociableness and isolation of 
the giant Cyclopes ; of Polyphemus's saturnine treatment of 
Odysseus, when the Greek " comes to his knees," and asks J r n y d g0 n. s " 
for a stranger's gift as is his due ; 3 of the graceful concession 
made by the ogre to his visitor, that he will eat him last of 
his company, and that this privilege shall suffice as a 
"stranger's gift," 4 or "gift of friendship." These facts 
together with the events that ensued in the island home 
of the Cyclopes betoken an antipathy towards strangers. 
But the Cyclopes were not alone in their surliness. No less 
inhospitable was the reception accorded to Odysseus and his 
companions among the grim Laestrygones, as he tells us 
himself. The narrative is as follows. When the advance 

1 Thuc. i. 144 ; ii. 39 ; Xen., Lac. 14, 4 ; Plat., Prof. 342 C. 

2 Bastian, Der Mensck in der Geschichte, 1860, i. 219, says that among 
the Wakuafi the word Orlmagnati means "friend " and "foe." 

3 Odyss. ix. 266. Cf. Ch. x., p. 124. 

4 Odyss. ix. 370. 


party arrived in the course of their wanderings hard by the 
town of King Antiphates, 1 they met a noble damsel drawing 
water, who introduced them to the high-roofed hall of her 
father. The queen, who was huge of bulk as a mountain 
peak, and loathly to behold, proceeded to contrive with her 
lord a pitiful destruction for the strangers who had been 
driven upon their shores. Indeed, it appears to have been 
Odysseus's fate to be thrown more than once into the 
company of monsters of this kind who regarded neither gods 
nor men. But others besides those with whom the hero 
came into contact were characterized by a similar in- 
Echetos hospitality. Such was Echetos of Epeiros, the terror of 
Herakies. a j} men, who did not stop short of mutilating those who 
rashly or inadvertently visited his borders and placed them- 
selves in his power. Nay, Herakies, divine or demigod 
though he was, showed no moral superiority over ordinary 
mortals in this particular. For when Iphitos came once 
upon a time in search of twelve brood mares, Herakies 
entertained him, but, casting covetous eyes on the steeds 
himself, had no respect to the vengeance of the gods, 
nor for the table which he spread before his guest, but 
crowned his censurable conduct by murder. The truth is, 
much of the tragic horror that attaches to the histories of 
some families in Greek legend, namely, of Peleus, of Atreus, 
and of Thyestes, is derived from the violation of the moral 
obligation of hospitality under the influence of a maddening 
Ate or fatal delusion. 

Taurian* ^e mna bitants of the Tauric Chersonese (the modern 
Crimea) were also notorious for their disregard of human 
life. They used to sacrifice to the virgin Artemis (who 
wears in this tradition the revolting aspect of an Indian 
idol, and betrays traces of extraneous elements) all ship- 
wrecked sailors who were thrown upon their shores. This 
usage supplies the motive of the legends concerning Iphi- 

1 x. 104. 


geneia, to which allusion has already been made. 1 She was 
rescued from an untimely doom, and transported (so ran the 
legend) to Tauris, where she presided over the bloody 
sacrifice. Upon the altar-stone were russet stains, relics 
of human blood, signs of inhuman rites duly celebrated in 
honour of the cruel goddess. 

The evidence cited above, whether in the shape of The . above 


historical facts, documentary history, or legendary tradition, j* barous 
should probably be regarded as echoes of a former age, a e e - 
when the sense of humanity was crude and undeveloped. 
But however that may be, the very reference to these 
traditions in Homer argues an advance in the social senti- 
ment at the date of the Homeric age. Evidently from the 
point of view of the poems inhospitable treatment of 
strangers belongs to a dim and shadowy past. It is 
retained only by the inhabitants of the borderland between 
barbarism and civilization. The conduct of the Cyclopes, 
the Laestrygones, or the Taurians, and of Echetos or 
Herakles, is thrown into relief against the general picture of 
the manners of Homer's age, for the very reason that they 
never knew or never respected the rights of humanity. No 
one, then, can affect a doubt of the inhospitality of those 
who lived in the earliest epoch. 

We are led to inquire in what way the transition from a 
suspicion and hatred of strangers to a friendly intercourse 

1 Ch. vii., pp. 84, 85. The Scythians on the Pontus were noted for 
their cruelty towards strangers. Strabo v., p. 300. Underneath the 
inhospitality of the Taurians towards those who were thrown upon their 
shores lies a further reason which may be urged in palliation, though not 
in justification of their insensibility. Not only was the sense of the 
natural rights of man imperfectly developed, but shipwreck was regarded 
as a punishment for offences against the gods, and therefore to help the 
shipwrecked would provoke divine wrath. Thus Bolus's attitude is changed 
towards Odysseus when the latter, having been once hospitably enter- 
tained by him, returns to the island driven by the fierce fury of the wind. 
"Far be it from me to help or to further that man whom the blessed gods 
abhor. Get thee forth, for lo ! thy coming marks thee hated by the 
deathless gods." Odyss. x. 72. Such ideas are not uncommon among 
barbarous tribes at this day. Cf. Lubhock, Origin of Civilization, 390 ; 
Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois ii., p. 199. It will be remembered that 
Dante dwells upon the sin of pitying those condemned by God. 



with them was brought about. The reason for the change 
ho!?!? was is probably to be sought in the exigences of commercial 
stoned. intercourse ; the cultivation of a friendly feeling towards 
The strangers was an indispensable preliminary to commerce. 
O f gl! The analogy afforded by untutored races of the present day 
is not devoid of interest in this connection ; indeed, some of 
their customs have an immediate bearing and throw much 
light upon the origin of commerce in Greece and Italy. 

A German author, 1 in describing life in the South Sea 
Islands, alludes to a practice which resembles a well-known 
institution in Greece and is otherwise relevant. His words 
are to the following effect. " Besides the salutation a 
special gift forms part of the sign or proof of hospitality. 
It serves in some measure as a continuation and confirma- 
tion of the greeting. It consists of fruit, fish, mats, and 
things of the kind," which, adds the author, " form to some 
extent the basis of traffic in barter and of commerce." 

That this practice was firmly established in the society 
whose manners are depicted by Homer is clear from the 
numerous allusions to it in the pages of the poet. Reference 
has already been made to the claim of gifts on the part of 
Odysseus and its cynical rejection by Polyphemus, the 
Cyclops. These presents took a variety of forms ; a mixing 
bowl of flowered work might be bestowed on one, a goodly 
mantle or needlework of divers colours on another, a sharp 
sword or a mighty spear on a third. These gifts as a rule 
were made on the departure of the guest. 2 They were at once 
the formal introduction and prelude to an intimate friend- 
ship between giver and receiver. 3 It was a religious duty to 
present such tokens of hospitality. 4 To deny them was 
a mark of boorishness and brutality ; to violate a friendship 

1 G. Klemm, Kulturgeschichte iv. 310, quoted by Schrader in Lin- 
guistisch-historische Forschungen zur Handelsgeschichte und Waren- 
kunde, p. ii. 

2 Odyss. xxiv. 273; xxi. 34, dStpa gewrj'ia. Nicolas Damascenus observes 
that the Cretans prized weapons most of all. 

3 PX 1 7" "otrvi/?7? Trpoo-icrjdfos, Odyss. xxi. 35. 

4 Odyss. viii. 389 ; ix. 269. 


sealed by gifts given and received was a great sin, and the 
penalty that awaited the culprit inspired great dread. Still, 
these presentations were not dictated by sentimental reasons 
only, but served the very practical purpose of laying the 
foundations of mercantile transactions in time to come. 

It is worth while following up the history of these gifts a The 
little further. We have seen that they were directly due to pnent and 

. J J importance 

commercial considerations. Accordingly the merchant is 

in a very real sense a medium and instrument of culture. 1 
Now, it has been already shown that the Phoenicians bore a J[JJJ ac " 
leading part in the development of trade in Mediterranean Phoenician 
waters.* It would be only natural, therefore, to find traces 
of their influence in methods of transacting business. So it Merchants' 

. tokens. 

proves. There is a strong presumption in favour of sup- 
posing that these commercial tokens in Greece and Italy, the 
avfifioXov and tessera hospitalis, were closely connected with 
the Phoenician race, if not directly derived from them. 
These expedients, which, as we have seen, were employed for 
the protection of commerce, are mentioned in Plautus by the 
name of Mrs aelichot or potsherds. They afforded means 
of mutual recognition. Each party to the friendship, 
whether instituted for commercial or for social purposes, 
took away half of the token, which served as a clue to the 
bearer's identity. Upon the production of the respective 
portions, either by the individual in question or by a 
representative, 8 by piecing the two halves together 
recognition was possible. In course of time, as commerce 
developed and was systematized, the arrangement gained a 
legal significance, and the token was used, not to ensure a 
hospitable reception, but as a guarantee of legal protection. 
Such developments, however, belong to a later age, and 
we are at present chiefly concerned with the social aspect 

1 It is interesting to observe that the Old Slovenic gosti bears the 
sense of stranger and merchant. See Miklosich in verb. 

2 Ch. v., p. 54. Cf. Movers, Die Phonizier ii. 3, p. 122. 

3 See F. C. Movers, Phonizische Texte, 1845; p - Schroeder, Die 
Phonizische Sprache, 1869, and R. von Ihering, in Deutsche Rundschau^ 
1887, iii., pp. 420, 459. 


of hospitality. Some of the features and formalities are 
peculiarly instructive. 
Entertain- The duties of householders, as we have seen, were 


Greece. transmitted from generation to generation. Among the 
responsibilities resting upon the head of the house for the 
time being was the obligation to maintain the traditional 
hospitality. The reception of the hereditary guests, Trarpwioi 
%evoi, 1 was one of the most important. 

itaiy. j n iik e manner, it was incumbent on the representative of 

an Italian family to fulfil these obligations towards those 
who were bound to him by ties of this nature. The Romans 
regarded it as a solemn duty. To this a Latin author 
alludes when he recounts the duties devolving upon a 
Roman according to traditional custom : constabat ex 
moribus populi Romani in tertio loco esse hospites. Huius 
moris observationisque multa sunt testimonia documentaque 
in antiquitatibus perscripta ; 2 and certainly his statement 
is borne out by historians. We read, for instance, of those 
who were thus united sending their children to be educated 

^enes at fa e home of these distant friends. 3 But nowhere, either 

Homer. m Italy or in Greece, do we find such a pleasing picture of 
the establishment and maintenance of these hereditary 
friendships as in the Homeric poems. As with unpro- 
gressive races in various parts of the globe, 4 so with the 
Greeks it is assumed that the stranger meets with enter- 
tainment and receives protection as a matter of course, but 
that he must be brought into personal relations with the 
head of the family who take him in. He must enter the 
host's dwelling or touch his garment* When this has been 
done, he becomes, as it were, one of his children. 5 A traveller 

1 Odyss. i. 187 ; iii. 354 ; viii. 207, 550; Iliaa ?vi. 215, 231. 

2 A. Cell. v. 13. " It was part of the principles of the Roman people 
to treat strangers as having the third claim upon their consideration (next 
to relatives). Archaeological treatises contain many detailed evidences 
and proofs of this custom and courtesy." 

3 Cf. Livy ix. 36 ; Iliad i. 45 ; v. 50 ; xxxvii. 36. 

4 Cf. O. Fliigel in Z.fiir Volkerpsychologie xii., p. 55. 
* Cf. Leist, Gracoital. Rechtsgeschichte, p. 215. 


was always welcomed as one of the family, and, whenever 
opportunity offered, those who were entertained were not slow 
to return the hospitality, and ever cherished a friendly feeling 
towards those who had shown it. Such a public benefactor 
was Axylus, of whom we read in Homer. Ever ready to 
give a night's shelter and a night's food and help on the way 
to anyone who was brought by chance to his door, he won 
the esteem and affection of his countrymen : 

a<f>vib<i /JiOTOio, <tXos 8' ty av0pa>7roMrtv 
Trairas yap ^tAeco-KCv, 6SaJ tirl 01x10. vaitw. 1 

The stranger, then, who can plead either merit or mis- 
fortune is sure of a favourable reception in the one case and 
of relief in the other. Whether gentle or simple, he is 
readily admitted, and indignation is expressed if he is kept 
waiting at the door. No sooner does he appear at the 
threshold than everybody present bids him welcome and 
insists on his sitting down 2 with the company ; all vie with 
each other in showing attention and rendering service. 3 
The host extends to his guest the right hand of fellowship 
and offers him greeting. The poet gives prominence to this 
pledge of good faith when he describes the interview between 
two warriors on the battlefield. They are about to engage 
in mortal combat, when they suddenly pause, and recognize 
each other's name. After a recital of their respective 
genealogies, mindful of the intimacy between their ancestral 
houses, they plant their spears in the ground and exchange 
goodly gifts : 

Still, generally speaking, in such cases the friendship is 
not ratified until the stranger partakes of the family or 

1 Iliad vi. 12, " a man of substance dear to his fellows ; for his dwelling 
was by the roadside, and he entertained all men." 

2 Odyss. i. 119; iii. 34. 

3 Admetus (in Euripides, Alcestis, 540), having lost his wife, hides his 
grief from his guest Herakles, rather than let his hospitality be impeached. 

4 Iliad vi. 233, " they clasped each other by the hand and pledged their 
faith." Cf. Vergil, sEneid iii. 610 : Ipse pater dextram Anchises haut 
multa moratus Dat iuveni, atque animum praesenti pignore firmat. 



common meal, which, as usual, is consecrated by an offering. 1 
Afterwards, when^the time arrives for departure he takes his 
leave loaded with gifts. 2 But the acquaintance does not 
terminate there. It has now been cemented by the exchange 
of gifts, and from henceforth an obligation rests upon the 
recipient always to reciprocate the feeling and, when 
occasion demands, to return the hospitality enjoyed. 

The social or convivial benefits conferred by the system 
were therefore by no means inconsiderable. But other 
advantages accrued from the arrangement. For so long as 
Protection, the stranger enjoys the shelter of the house where he has 
been received he is safe from harm. This immunity from 
danger or annoyance was not peculiar to Greece and Italy. 3 
Many untutored races at this day pay respect to the person 
of the stranger so long as he is under their roof. 4 That 
this regard for the safety of the visitor, which is frequently 
found in combination with the rudest barbarism, was a 
familiar feature in Homeric society is attested by a number 
of passages. The following is one : Eumaeus the swine- 
herd is entertaining his master Odysseus unawares in the 
guise of a beggar. When the stranger suggests to his host 
that he might set upon him and take his life, as a terror to 
other vagrants, his host scouts the idea : 

Sctv', OVTO) yap <iv JJLOL cvK\Lr) T' dpen^ re 

Efy CTT dv0|0(i)7rou9, a/Ad T' avTLKa Kal /xeTaireira, 

Os a' 7Tt es K\LCTLTf)v ayayov Kai ^ewia Saj/ca, 


Hp6<f)p(ov Kfv 8r) eTreiTct Aia KpovtWa 

1 Plutarch states that the Locri in such cases did not ask the stranger's 
3 Odyss. xxiv. 275, 285. Cf. xv. 82 ; xix. 240. 

3 Cf. Lindemann, Die Moral, p. 209 ; Genesis xix. 8 ; Exodus xxii. 21-24 ; 
Leviticus xix. 33, 34. 

4 The story of the Arab host is well known. As he sat at the door of 
his tent one evening a traveller applied to him for hospitality. The child 
of the desert granted the request unhesitatingly. At the evening meal, 
however, he recognized in his guest the man who had taken his brother's 
life ; and before they retired to rest the host addressed his guest in this 
wise : "Stranger, in my stable stands my fleetest steed; rise up betimes, 
saddle him, and flee for thy life, for thou art he that slew my brother." 

5 Odyss. xiv. 404. " Yea, stranger, even so should I get much honour 


The analogy holds good of Italy also. Treachery towards 
guests was regarded with equal horror by the Romans. 
The historian places on record such a breach of faith 
and stigmatizes it as a crime. He uses the following 
language in describing the incident : 

Scelus occidendi hospitis . . . execratus deinde in caput regnumque 
Persise et hospitales deos violatae ab eo fidei testes invocans. 1 

It will be readily seen, in view of the conditions of early Right of 


society, for example, in the case of persecution for homicide, 
that occasions often arose for the exercise of hospitality 
towards strangers, who from whatever cause found them- 
selves cast adrift and abandoned to the world, and also for 
the observance of good faith towards those who thus placed 
their lives and their honour in a friend's keeping. 2 No 
greater calamity could befall a Greek or Italian than banish- 
ment. How intolerable the lot of the exile was, even when, 
in historic times, comparatively alleviated, may be seen from 
the Pontic Epistles of Ovid and the Letters of Cicero. It 
requires no effort of the imagination therefore to realize the 
dire extremities to which the forlorn being would be reduced 
in a yet earlier age, when driven from home or tribe he 

and good luck among men, both now and ever hereafter, if after bringing 
thee to my hut and giving thee a stranger's cheer, I should turn again 
and slay thee and take away thy dear life. With good heart thereafter 
would I pray to Zeus, the son of Cronos." (BUTCHER and LANG, transl.} 
Or, " I should be fain thereupon to pray to Zeus " (the patron god of 
strangers), to make my peace with him. 

1 Livy xxxix. 51 (569). "After cursing the crime of killing a guest he 
called the gods of strangers to witness against the head and kingdom of 
Persia the breach of faith that had been committed." The crime is con- 
demned as strongly elsewhere. Cf. 52, " proditus ab hospite " ; and 
xl. 4 (570), " fidos hospites"; ix. 6 (433), " iustis omnibus hospitalibus 
privatisque et publicis funguntur officiis." 

It would not be difficult to trace the evolution of public hospitality 
from private. In Homer the king, who occupies in the state the same 
position as the father in the household (see Ch.xxiii.,p. 302), receives foreign 
representatives on behalf of the community, and calls upon the members 
to contribute to the maintenance of the strangers. Odyss. xix. 198. 
Post, Die Anf tinge, p. 123, furnishes parallel instances of the practice. 
Places were reserved for the strangers at the common meals (o-vo-o-tna). 
Schomann, Griech. Altert. i., p. 327. Further, when commerce developed, 
the interests of traders were safeguarded by rrpugtvoi, the forerunners of 
modern consuls. Cf. also Livy i. 45 ; v. 50 ; viii. 3. 


wandered either among the wild beasts of forest and field 
or among strangers, a term synonymous in that age with 

The testimony of language is eloquent of the feeling with 
which banishment from home or from the tribe was viewed 
and the mental anguish as well as physical suffering that 
exile entailed. The Italian when so placed was called exsul, 
one who is banished from his native soil. He was forbidden 
fire and water, the two essentials of life. His counterpart 
in Greece fared no better. Even when admitted to another 
country or state it was as an alien (/-teraz/ao-T???) * ; the 
epithet, art^ro?, which he bore in Homer, implied that if 
he were murdered no composition was exacted for taking 
his life. 2 

Under such circumstances as these a place of refuge would 
be a boon to the wanderer, and such a provision appears to 
have been made at an early stage among those races which 
figure in history as the pioneers of humanitarianism, while 
they were emerging from their original barbarism. That the 
Hebrews provided such places of refuge, where the man- 
slayer might repair to escape the vengeance of the victim's 
kinsfolk, is well known to every reader of the Hebrew 
Scriptures. But these were not the only places of the kind. 
The fugitive fled to the horns of the altar, and so long as he 
remained there was inviolate ; infractions of the privilege of 
sanctuary were regarded with supreme detestation as sins of 
the greatest magnitude. Neither were the Greeks behind- 
hand in this respect. The suppliant might count upon 
security so long as he remained within the sacred precincts. 
He could not be dragged away, and owed his safety to the 
sanctity of the spot. Such is the meaning of the word 
aa-vXov (a, " not ", cru\ai>, " drag "), which, passing from the 

1 Ch. xx., p. 264. 

2 Dr. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte und Warenkunde, shows how 
language affords an interesting insight into the ancient feeling about 
exile. The German elend, "from another country"; English "wretch" 
(Anglo-Saxon vrecca, " outlawed "), Cf. Old Slovenic kalika, " stranger " ; 
Roumanian kalik, "needy" ; Polish kafeka, "cripple." 


Greek language to the Latin, survives in English to this 

To sum up what has been said on the subject of hos- summary. 
pitality, throughout this institution run three ideas. The 
benefit accruing to society from such a system is obvious. 
It facilitated friendly relations between tribe and tribe, or hospitality 
intercourse between country and country, and therefore 
imparted a stimulus to commerce. It mitigated the severity 
of the traditional methods of avenging murder. But it also its 


possessed a religious aspect. The person of the suppliant aspect. 
was inviolable. He could not indeed claim legal redress, 
but the violator of his rights committed a heinous offence, 
and consequently incurred the Divine displeasure. In like 
manner, nothing shocked the susceptibilities of the Roman 
world more than a betrayal or surrender of a fugitive into 
the hands of his pursuers, although the attitude of the 
Roman differs somewhat from that of the Greek. The 
Roman recognized only the moral obligation to ensure the 
safety of those who had placed themselves at his mercy and 
trusted to his honour. The Greek was actuated by a further 
principle : he dreaded the anger of the offended deity, of 
Zeus or Themis, of the patron god or goddess of strangers. The 
The foregoing considerations that is, the social significance of 
and religious import of the recognition of the duty of 
hospitality tended to produce a third result. He who 
admits the obligation of sharing hearth and home with a 
stranger begins to see in his guest a fellow-man, and the 
poet struck a new note which was unfamiliar even to Greek 
ears when he sang : 

Ka<nyvrjTOv &U/GS ff wctT^s T TTVKT<U 
, os r 6\iyov wcp iri\j/avr) 

1 Homer, Odyss. viii. 546. " In a brother's place stand the stranger 
and the suppliant, to him whose wits have even a little range." 
(BUTCHER and LANG, transit) 




Connection THE institution of hospitality, which engaged our attention 

w!th y m t* 16 ^ as * chapter, while signifying an increasing desire for 

commerce. c j oser communication between man and man, signified also 

in a measure the advance of civilization ; it was, however, 

the outcome of the necessities of trade and commerce. The 

merchant in the social infancy of a race is in a very real 

sense an intermediary, for as he imports foreign wares so he 

introduces foreign ideas. He exerts therefore no incon- 

siderable influence upon the spread of knowledge as well as 

upon the promotion of general happiness. But primitive 

commerce must have been very limited in extent, for the 

normal state of primitive communities was war. 1 

Begin- From what has been said in the preceding pages it will 

commerce, be seen that commerce originally was confined to barter 

between members of the same tribe or between two friendly 

tribes. Until the suspicions entertained against foreigners 

were dissipated and the barriers broken down, anything of 

the nature of extensive trade was attended with the greatest 

difficulty, and, indeed, can hardly be said to have existed. 

suent But the exigencies of commerce, overbore obstacles of this 

kind, and means were devised by which the exchange of 

commodities could be effected. Untutored tribes in their 

relations with the foreign merchant resort to silent barter. 

1 The question of establishing commercial dealings with untutored 
tribes is always difficult and often infeasible, for the reason that the idea 
is incomprehensible to their minds. Cf. M. Kulischer in Zeit. fur 
Vdlkerpsychologie x. 378 ; Waitz, Anthropologie der Naturvolker ii., p. 107; 
and Waitz-Gerland vi., p. no. 


The practice is not uncommon, and is met with in various 
parts of the globe. The following passage in Herodotus 
affords a graphic description of the method pursued by the 
Carthaginians' in dealing with the natives of West Africa ; 
for these explorers in their love of gain, had penetrated into 
regions beyond the scope of less adventurous seamen. "The 
Carthaginians further say that beyond the Pillars of 
Herakles there is a region of Libya, and men who inhabit 
it ; when they arrive among these people and have unloaded 
their merchandise, they set it in order on the shore, go on 
board their ships and make a great smoke. The inhabitants, 
seeing the smoke, come down to the sea, deposit gold in 
exchange for the merchandise, and withdraw to some dis- 
tance from the merchandise. The Carthaginians then 
going ashore examine the gold, and if the quantity seems 
sufficient they take it up and sail away; but if it is not 
sufficient they go on board their ship again and wait ; the 
natives approach and deposit more gold, until they have 
satisfied the merchants. Neither party ever wrongs the 
other, for the merchants do not touch the gold before it has 
been raised to the value of the merchandise, nor do the 
natives touch the merchandise before the other negotiators 
have taken the gold." 3 

Methods of a similar nature were employed in dealing 
with the Greeks. Scylax of Caryanda in Caria, himself a 
renowned explorer, 4 relates 5 that the Phoenicians were in the 

1 iv. 196. The circumnavigation of Africa was the greatest feat ot 
ancient seamanship. It is hardly necessary to mention that Carthage 
was the chief colony of the Phoenician race in the Mediterranean, and 
that after the extinction of the mother cities it became the representative 
of the Phoenician power. 

1 Viz., the Straits of Gibraltar. 

3 Pliny vi. 24 (22) describes similar negotiations among the Seres: 
Fluminis ulteriore ripa merces positas juxta venalia tolli ab his, si placeat 
permutatio. Cf. Pomponius Mela iii. 7, 58. The earliest allusion to 
interpreters is in Herod, ii. 154, 164 (Egypt); iv. 24 (Scythians). Cf. 
Strabo xi. c. 3, 4, and 16 ; Max M tiller, Vorlesungen uber die Wissenschaft 
der Sprache i., p. 77 ; Waitz ii., p. 102 ; Kotzebue, Erste Reise i., p. 150 ; 
Lassen, Indische Altertumskunde iii., p. 85. 

4 Herod, iv. 44. 6 Peripl. i. 94. 


habit of pitching tents upon the beach and of displaying 
their wares. Thereupon the natives would approach and 
gaze in wonder at the novelties produced for their benefit. 1 
It is true that no positive proofs exist of the practice of 
silent barter by Greeks, but- in the absence of direct testi- 
mony, the adoption of the method by the Phoenicians, a 
people to whom the Greeks were much indebted for their 
knowledge of commerce, and the wide prevalence of the 
custom, warrant the inference that the Greeks employed it. 
Such was the earliest expedient. We shall probably be 
right in concluding that we have here the genesis of com- 
merce in the proper sense of the term. 

The The analogy of unprogressive races is again a safe guide 

from 'Sent on this subject, since they not only illustrate the method of 
regular silent barter, but serve to elucidate the transition to system- 
atized commerce. The parties repair to a spot agreed upon 
(at a later time bridges were often chosen as a rendezvous), 
and as a guarantee of good faith they present themselves at 
the interview unarmed. They then proceed to buy and sell 
either by means of signs or through an interpreter. When 
the business is concluded they return to their weapons and 
resume their former attitude. 2 

Markets, It is almost certain that such methods preceded the 
regular markets of later days. The evidence as regards 
early Europe is conclusive. Some of these marts stood on 
the borders of civilization ; others within the boundaries of 
Greek towns or districts. Such meeting-points were called 
ayopal tyopioif or <rvvoSoi ai Trpo? rot? opot? r&v da-Tvyeirov&v, 
" border markets " or " meetings on the frontiers between 

1 Cf. the passage from Odyss. xv. quoted in Ch. v., p. 56. 

2 Such methods of exchange are described by various writers. Cf. 
Kulischer, Der Handel auf prim. Kulturstufen, in Zeit. fur Volker- 
psychologie x. 378 ; Andree, Geog. des Welthandels i. 45 ; Klemm, 
Kulturgeschichte^ passim ; and O. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte und 

Warenkunde^ p. 34. Temporary suspensions of hostilities or ancient 
antipathies are not unknown in more modern times. Rostislawlew, 
Uber die Guter und Einkunfte russischer Kloster^ Petersburg, 1876, 
pp. 254, 262. 

3 Cf. the references to old laws in Dem, 631, 632. 


the inhabitants of neighbouring cities." Around these 
centres villages and towns gradually grew up, and their 
names 'Ayopa, " Market," and 'AXia, " Assembly," survive as 
memorials of their commercial importance at one time. 1 

But the seats of worship, like Delos 2 in Greece and the especially 
grove of the goddess Feronia 3 in Italy, offered peculiar religious 
facilities for transactions of this kind. Such places not only 
formed convenient centres since everyone had occasion to 
repair thither in order to fulfil religious duties but also the 
sanctity of these places afforded an assurance of peace ; 4 
and it is significant that Numa, whose name is so intimately 
associated with the establishment of the Roman religion, 
was credited with the establishment of markets also. 5 

It must be admitted at the outset that the nature of pre- 
historic commerce is merged in considerable obscurity and 
the evidence rests rather upon analogy than direct testimony. 
However, we now proceed to consider two movements which 
exercised a most important bearing upon the development 
of commerce. 

The first is the construction of roads. It stands to reason The 


that progress in commercial enterprise involves improvement 
in the methods of locomotion. Of their mutual dependence 
language affords ample proof, as the following equations will 
serve to show. The words for road or way are instructive 
in this connection. We meet with the following : the 
Latin via (Umbrian vea, Oscan vio), German weg, and the 
Gothic vigs. 6 Underneath this group lies the root veh which 
appears in the Latin veho, "carry," "bear," and the Sanskrit 
vah, " convey." Another group consists of the Latin 

1 O. Schrader, Handelsgeschi'chte und Warenkunde, 35. 
; Cf. Strabo, 486 ; Herod, iv. 33. 
8 Livy i. 30, 5. 

4 The combination of business with religion was not peculiar to Greece 
and Italy. Cf. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte, p. 36, who cites cases among 
the Northern Europeans. When Europe was evangelized and Christian 
churches rose on the ruins of pagan temples, the tradition continued to 
be observed. 

5 Cicero, De rep. ii. 14. 

6 Cf. O. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte, 13. 


callis, " a rough path," 1 the Greek Ke\ev0os and the 
Lithuanian kclias, which naturally connect themselves 
with the Sanskrit car, " stir," " move/' the Greek /eeXAw, 
" drive," /ceXo/jLcu, " urge," the Latin celer, " swift," celox, 
" a swift ship " or " cutter." The above are the most 
common expressions. But it is doubtful whether they signify 
anything more than paths cleared through the primeval 
forests with which the surface of Europe was once covered. 2 
HOW these Material for roadbuilding lay ready to hand in the 

roads were . ^ 

made. abundant forest timber that covered the face of the country, 
and nature herself suggested a method of construction. 
The pioneer placed the trunks of trees or logs and faggots 
side by side. Hence arose the celebrated "log-roads" of 
the Teutons. Hence, too, we shall probably be right in 
supposing that Homer has some road of this sort in mind 
when he describes the transportation of timber among the 
Laestrygones from the hills to the lowlands : 

aoruS* d^>' v\l/r)\<i)v opttov Karayiveoj/ v 

The difficulties of cleaving a path through gigantic trees 
or thick underwood were not slight. It may, therefore, not 
be fanciful to see in the stereotyped phrases for road-making 
in later times a survival of these laborious operations. Such 
an idea is suggested by the expressions Tepveiv 6$bv, " to 
cleave " or "cut a road " ; avofyeiv KekevOov, and aperire 
viam, both with the meaning " to open a road " ; and 
K&evQov \eaiveiv, "to smooth a path." 

progress of ^ e art of road-building progressed by degrees, and the 

binding pi ctures described by Homer 4 suggest an improvement upon 

the simpler methods of an earlier epoch which have come 

1 Most commonly a path made by the treading of cattle. Cf. Isid., 
Orig. 15, 16, 10. 
" Cf. Tacitus, Germ. c. 5. 

3 Odyss. x. 104, " a level road whereby wains were wont to draw down 
wood from the high hills to the town." 

4 Iliadw. 261. 


under observation. Thus Telemachus and Pisistratus 1 
avail themselves of a chariot-road on their journey from 
Pylos to Lacedaemon, and in the well-known passage already 
cited, 2 where a professional rider is described, the words 
Xaofopos 68 J? clearly refer to a public road. 3 Still, such 
cattle roads or footpaths were insignificant in comparison 
with the high-roads of later days. The art of road-building 
in the proper sense belongs to- a later period. Initiated by 
the Phoenicians, who turned to this object their natural 
genius for engineering,' improved by the Persians, whose 
courier system formed a network extending from one end of 
their empire to another, 6 the science of road-making was 
brought to the highest pitch of perfection by the Romans, 
as their massive roads all over Europe, which have defied 
the ravages of time, bear witness. 

The simplicity of the early roads, which we have just been Fords, 
considering, also suggests that the only means of crossing 
rivers or swamps was by means of fords. Antecedently, 
we might surmise as much, and the existence of words in 
several languages, which bear too close a resemblance to 
each other not to be akin, points to the same conclusion. 
The Lithuanian bredii, and the Old Slovenic ^ra/<, " I wade," 
are of that number. A yet older name occurs in the Zend 
peretu* the Latin portus, " haven," the Greek Wpo?, " ford," 
" strait " ; and TTO/J^O?, " ferry," " passage." Throughout 
these terms runs the idea of " wading," and others might 
be added which contain a similar idea. 

Such expedients, however, would not suffice to meet the Brid ecs. 
needs of a growing commerce. Accordingly, in course of 
time, fords were superseded by bridges. It is noteworthy, 
too, as illustrating the adaptation of old terms to new 

1 Odyss. iii. 486. 

2 Iliad, xv. 682, in Ch. ix., p. no. 

3 Lit. "bearing people,'' "frequented." 

4 Cf. Ch. viii., p. 91. 

* The name for these messengers and their method has passed into 
the Greek language in the form ayyapos and dyyapcvfiv. 

6 Huperetu, i.e. Ei/<par;r, Schrader, Handelsgeschicktc^ p. 14. 


conditions, that the idea of ford glides imperceptibly into that 
of bridge. The use of the Persian word peretu justifies this 
deduction, for it bears both meanings, and the close connection 
existing between the Latin pons, "bridge," the Greek 7raro9, 
the Sanskrit path- and the Old Slovenic patt, all meaning 
"way," lend colour to this theory. The Greek word <ye$vpa 
also, though unconnected with the above words, affords an 
interesting insight into the primitive conditions of life. Its 
primary sense appears to be that of " dyke " or " dam," 
constructed to bar the course of a stream. Such is the 
sense which it generally bears up to the time of Herodotus. 1 
But later it acquired the signification of bridge. 2 Whether 
we are to conclude that attempts to cross swamps preceded 
the attempts to cross rivers is difficult to determine defi- 
nitely, but at any rate the morasses of Europe at that day 3 
afforded ample scope for the exercise of all the skill and 
ingenuity that the primitive engineer could command. 
Con Be that as it may, we are not left in any doubt as to the 

timber* 1 f ma terial of which these structures were built. The plentiful 
timber, it would naturally be supposed, supplied means 01 
overcoming the difficulty of construction, and in matter of 
fact tradition furnishes evidence corroborative of this asser- 
tion. The remark has already been made that the Romans 
scrupulously adhered to ancestral usages. This conserva- 
tism finds an illustration in the subject before us. The 
Pons Sublicms, or Pile Bridge, in Rome was always, regarded 
with almost a religious veneration. It was attributed to 
Ancus Martius, 4 and rested upon wooden piles ; and even 
though the use of iron had generally superseded the use of 
wood, no iron nails were allowed in the repair of this 

It would appear therefore that bridges possessed some 

1 Cf. Iliad v. 88, and array c<f>vp6o) in Herod, ii. 99. The Old Slovenic 
mostii has similarly changed its meaning. 

2 Lewy, Die semit. Fremdworter, p. 250, claims yc<j>vpa as a word of 
Semitic origin. 

3 Cf. Tacitus, Germ. c. 5. 

4 Livy i. 33. 


religious significance in the early ages of civilization, but the Religious 
religious reverence which is illustrated by the case of the roads and 
Pons Sublicius may simply be due to a desire to mollify the Bridges. 
supposed resentment of the god of the stream at the cur- 
tailment of his liberties. In this particular instance it was 
Pater Tiberinus, or Father Tiber, who enjoyed the highest 
honour of any Roman river-god. But whatever may have 
been the mojtive that inspired this religious veneration for 
bridges, roads were demanded by the exigencies of religious 
ritual, and served a practical purpose in transporting 
materials for shrines and temples, and in facilitating the 
progress of pilgrimages or processions of faithful and 
devout worshippers. 1 The utility of these religious roadways 
for the promotion of trade and commerce, however, did not 
long escape the observation of the alert trader. When the 
Greek took to the sea such roads proved eminently useful 
for the conveyance of merchandise to the coast. Of their 
employment for this purpose Hesiod speaks in the Works and 
Days, where the poet warns the speculator not to overload 
his waggon on the way to the shore any more than to over- 
weight his ship when he has arrived there : 

Scivov T* i K <f> afJLa^av vrrep/Jiop a^Oo? det'/oa? 
s, TO, Sc 

The discovery of the art of navigation afforded an incalcu navatuj 
lable impulse to the growth of commerce. The probability JJJ* lta 
is that the early attempts to utilize the sea were of a very p rtance - 
simple character, but really the beginnings of navigation lie 
beyond all human memory. It might be urged, indeed, that 
the existence of the word *ndv, for instance in the Sanskrit J t rds for 
ndv 9 the Greek vavs and the Latin navis, is conclusive as 
regards the nautical attainments of the races that used them, 
and that it points to high development of commerce among 
the Aryans. This conclusion, however, is vitiated by the 

1 Cf. E. Curtius, Zur Geschichte des Wegebaus bei den Griechen, p. 1 5 ; 
and O. Schrader, Handelsgeschichte, p. 15. 

2 " It would be sad if by overloading your waggon you were to shiver 
the axle and the freight were ruined." 


fact that the root referred to need imply no more than a 
hollowed trunk of a tree, 1 and that the terms for mast and 
sail, which become necessary on the sea, do not appear in 
the early stages of the growth of these languages. But this 
does not preclude the possibility that such primitive boats, 
hollowed out of trees with fire or axe, 2 propelled by oars, 
guided by rudders, and possibly covered with leather, 3 plied 
on the rivers and landlocked lakes of Europe before the 
emigrants set eyes on the Mediterranean. 4 It may not be 
supposed, therefore, that the science of navigation had 
attained to any dimensions at an earlier period among the 
divided" ancestors of the Greek and Italic races. For, while it is 
Aryans, probable that the undivided Aryans were to some extent 
acquainted with the sea, as is shown by their possession of a 
common word for that element, seen in the Latin mare and 
the Old Slovenic morje? yet a nautical terminology belongs 
to a later date and was doubtless the creation of an age 
subsequent to the separation. This argument derives 
additional weight from the reflection that no Aryan race, 
excepting the Greeks and Germans, displayed any aptitude 
for a seafaring life, or any aspiration in that direction. 
Th e The Romans belonged to this category. It is true that 

Romans. ^^ were not foifaft to t ^ e advantages offered by their rivers 
for transporting country produce ; indeed, the historian Livy 
distinctly declares, through the mouth of one of the speakers 
whom he brings upon the stage, this to have been one of 
the motives that influenced the original inhabitants in the 
choice of a site on the Tiber for their settlement. 6 On the 

1 Schrader, Spfiachvergleichung, p. 403. Cf. the Sanskrit dtfru, 
"timber," "boat" (Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 256) ; Old Norse askr, "ashtree," 
" ship." 

2 /zoi/ovXa TrXoIn, as Xenophon calls them (Anab. 6, 4, u). 

3 Cf. Hesiod, Works and Days, 544. 

4 For a similar state of things in India see Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 256. 

5 On the other side, see Max Miiller, Chips from a German Work- 
shop ii. 47, 48 ; Kretschmer, Einleitung\ 65. 

6 v. 54, 4. Non sine causa clii hominesque hunc urbi condendae locum 
elegerunt, saluberrimos colles, flumen opportunum, quo ex mediterraneis 
locis fruges devehantur, quo maritimi commeatus accipiantur. 


other hand, the reverence felt for the gods (numina) of rivers 
and streams in some cases, so far from fostering the use of 
these natural channels of trade, actually repressed enterprise. 
For scruples were entertained against navigating or even 
bridging, lest thegenn of those waters should be offended. 

The number of marine deities and the growth of the Absence of 
conception and cult of the spirits or gods of the watery 

element in Greece and Italy presents a striking contrast. "jy th - 
That the Romans were alive to the importance of rivers, and 
sensible of their vivifying, fecundating power has already 
been observed ; ! and they were not slow to recognize the 
divinity inherent in streams, nor loath to render them 
worship and homage. But with regard to the sea the 
Roman mythology is bare and meagre. 2 Certainly, the 
Romans had Neptune; but, properly speaking, he was a 
representative of water in general, and had no special connec- 
tion with the sea. His association with that element and his 
eminence really date from his identification with the Greek 
Poseidon, whose worship was formally introduced in 399 
B.C. ; and, as an effect of this amalgamation of the two cults, 
Neptune acquired the prerogatives of his Greek counterpart. 8 
The Italic races, or at any rate the Aryan races of Italy, 
may therefore be almost left out of account in considering 
the early development of navigation. 

The Greek Poseidon resembled Neptune in being the god Jfi r dance 
of water in general and the ruler of springs and streams, 4 
but he was chiefly associated with the sea. His weapon was 

1 Ch. iv., p. 38. 

* The Lex Claudia prohibited senators from engaging in commerce by 
sea. On the other hand, Cato practised commerce. Even at Athens a law 
existed at one time which forbade a merchant from holding office for ten 
years. But wiser counsels prevailed. Solon, Hippocrates and Zeno were 
not bigoted in this respect. Still the aristocracy held aloof. Cf. Cicero's 
remarks on the abstention of cultivated society from trade, De Off. i. 43, 
44. But he distinguishes wholesale from retail traffic. 

3 The influence of the Etrurians, an un-Aryan race, operated, however, 
in the opposite direction. They took more kindly to the water, and 
invented many fables relating to the sea and the monsters that inhabited it. 

4 Because of the supposed underground connection with the sea. 


a magnified trident, symbolizing the fisherman's harpoon 
He was the national deity of the Ionian race, whose chief 
occupations lay on the sea, namely fishing and navigation. 
His home was a golden palace in the depths of the waters, 
where he dwelt with his consort Amphitrite (" the one who 
flows round about "). The customary victim offered in 
honour of the god is the horse, fit symbol of the raging 
wave. But Poseidon is not unattended. Around him are 
grouped in the popular mythologies a host of subordinates ; 
Okeanos, who girdled the earth, and was the source of springs, 
rivers, and seas; 1 Proteus, " the old man of the sea," who 
could turn himself into a thousand forms; Nereus, the " flow- 
ing one"; Glaukos, the "resplendent," and the beautiful 
Nereides, "kindly powers at work in the sea." But these 
are only a few of the dripping water-sprites that form his 
court. 2 

frame ^ e ac( l uam tance of the Greeks with the sea, therefore, 

their appreciation of the value of sea-borne commodities, 

and the fresh outlet afforded to the spirit of exploration, 

inaugurated a new era in the history of commerce. Indeed, 

the influence of the sea on civilization in general cannot be 

influence over-estimated, and Greece was so situated as to be able to 

on n oree r k embrace every opening that presented itself for the expansion 

commerce. Q f tra( j e< Qn the one hand, the interior of the country was 

The sea. no t eminently calculated to encourage inland traffic. On 

the other hand, there were counterbalancing advantages; 

the sea washes Greece on three sides, inviting mercantile 

enterprises, not to speak of the strong appeals that this 

element makes at all times to the fancy of an imaginative 

and poetic race and the spell that it possesses for the 

1 According to Homer's geography Okeanos is a river which encircles 
the earth. 

2 The god Asklepios, as the god of healing, has a connection with 
sailors. Many inscriptions to him occur containing thanks to him for 
preservation at sea. Thus in the island of Syra : " We in the Milesian 
ship thank Asklepios." Bent, The Cyclades, 326. Vows in hope of safe 
voyage, prayers for the safety of friends, and thankofiferings for success 
were commonly made to sea-gods. 


inquiring mind. The islands which stud the gean offered 
natural stepping-stones to the Greek from Ionia or Asia 
Minor, and gave rise to the legend that told of a viaduct by 
which the fabled divinities of Attica visited their Ionian 
kinsfolk. But nature had furnished more practical benefits 
than food for the imagination. The dangers of the sea were 
decreased by the numerous creeks which furnished shelter to 
small craft plying to and fro from point to point on the 
seaboard of Greece, and even those who ventured on more 
extended explorations found safe bays for anchorage at the 
approach of foul weather. 

The remark has already been made l that the air of Attica The atmo 
is distinguished by a special purity and clearness, and the sf 
observation may be extended to Greece generally. Nor was 
this circumstance without its effects upon commerce. It 
enabled the sailor to discern the guiding-points of his course 
as far as twenty miles. The consequent transparency of the 
sky allows him to trace without difficulty the rising and 
setting of the stars, and to regulate his course and time his 
voyages accurately. 

The winds co-operated in furthering the interests of the The 
merchant. " In these latitudes," says a well-known writer, 
" the winds submit to certain rules and only rarely rise to 
the vehemence of desolating hurricanes. Never, except in 
the short winter season, is there any uncertain irregularity 
in wind and weather; the commencement of the fair 
season the safe months, as the ancients called it intro- 
duces an immutable law obeyed by the winds in the entire 
Archipelago ; every morning the north wind arises from the 
coasts of Thrace and passes over the whole island-sea ; so 
that men were accustomed to designate all the regions lying 
beyond these coasts as the side beyond the north wind." 
Again, the " ' breeze from the South ' is that which is sung 
of by the poets of antiquity, and now called the Embates, 
whose approach is ever mild, soft, and salutary." Altogether 

1 Ch. iv., p. 36. 

E e 


" the regularity in the whole life of nature, the mild and 
humane character of the ^gean, essentially contributed to 
make the inhabitants of its coasts use it with the fullest 
confidence, and live on and with it." l 

piracy in But when the Greeks found themselves at home on the 

day| a of est watery element their earliest enterprises were not of a 

Commerce, peaceful nature. The critical historian who has shown the 

keenest penetration into their earliest conditions remarks : 

t7Ti8^ r)pavTo juaAAov irepaiovvOai vavdiv ITT dXX^Xovs, erpaTrovro 

The pages of Homer bear out the statement, and furnish 
abundant evidence of the prevalence of piracy. So we 
are warranted in supposing that the ^Egean was overrun 
with sea-robbers of Phoenician, Carian, and Greek origin. 
Cradled in the surge and storm, they made sudden descents 
upon the coasts, were here to-day and there to-morrow, or 
lay in wait for those who plied a more peaceful trade in 
those waters. 

The nature The indented coast of Greece and Asia Minor, and par- 
coasfient ticularly the islands, offered facilities for such predatory 
piratical expeditions. The advantageous situation of Crete rendered 

operations. . * "*'* t 

it a suitable basis for such operations. In relation to the 
^Egean, the island stretches across the whole sea. On the 
other side the products of the East were easily accessible. 
Consequently the Phoenician sea-rovers, whose skill in 
seamanship was never matched by any ancient people, were 
induced to employ Crete as the starting-place for their 
voyages. But there was no lack of native adventurers. The 
boldness and activity of the Cretans is attested by the traces 
of Cretan civilization which are found in distant points of 
the Mediterranean, widely removed both from the mother 
country and from each other. It has been maintained that 
not only Ionia and Megara, but Sicily and Italy also bear 
evidence of their presence. The inhabitants of Axos and 

1 Curtius, Griech. Gesch., pp. 13, 14. (WARD, transl.}. 

2 Thuc. i. 5. " When they began to find their way to one another by 
sea they had recourse to piracy." 


Itanos, cities of Crete, took some part in the colonization of 
Cyrene in North Africa, 1 and it is held on good grounds 
that their knowledge of Egypt dates from 2000 B.C. 2 But 
if the Cretans indulged in piratical pursuits they could on 
occasion be equally active in the cause of order, and for a 
time they addressed themselves to the task with unremitting 
energy.' When they realized that piracy was hostile to 
progress they found an occupation akin to piracy itself in 
putting piracy down. This movement is embodied in the 
person of King Minos. Under his beneficent rule Crete Minos. 
became a maritime power. He not only checked the law- 
lessness of his contemporaries, because he found that piracy 
interfered with his own sovereignty, but ended by making 
himself master of the ^Egean and establishing a maritime 
dominion. Whatever may be the precise value of the tra- 
ditions relating to this monarch and his maritime kingdom, 
they doubtless contain a substratum of truth. 3 

But piracy died hard, and in the social stage depicted by 
Homer it carried with it no disreputable associations. On piracy 
the contrary, the profession was avowed with a certain sense 
of pride as becoming to one of a heroic cast of soul. So far, 
therefore, from repudiating the appellation of pirate 4 as able 
invidious or discreditable, the stranger when he appears on 
a foreign shore owns to his occupation. The aged Nestor 
sees no incongruity in putting the following question to his 
newly-arrived guests : 



*H TI Kara 7rpf)iv fj /zai/aSiojs aXd\.rjcrO ) 
Old T Ar/io-rijpcs, vircip aAa ; rot T* 

1 Herod, iv. 151, 154. 

8 Cf. Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, 4, 177, 182. 
8 For an examination of the trustworthiness of this legendary account 
see Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece , pp. 209, 210. 

4 The Homeric name for pirate is Xijurrijp. Udparrif, whence the Latin 
pirata and our pirate^ is of later origin. 

5 Odyss. iii. 70. " Now the time is come to ask the strangers who they 


manner the Germans, according to the statements 
of Caesar, are far from feeling their susceptibilities wounded 
or repelling the insinuation, and even justify their piratical 
practices : Latrocinia nullam habent infamiam, quae extra 
fines cuiusque civitatis fiunt, atque ea iuventutis exercendae 
ac desidise minuendae causa fieri praedicant. 1 The truth is 
that piracy, being practised with comparative openness, was 
robbed of the vulgarity and grossness which attended 
common theft, and was considered an employment worthy 
of a high and noble spirit. Accordingly the aged Nestor, 
pre-eminent among his compatriots as the peacemaker and 
sage, as well as an object of veneration for his years, speaks 
with pride of a piratical expedition among the achievements 
that he performed in company with Achilles, in which he 
won undying glory by inflicting untold pain. 2 

The nature Nothing came amiss to these sons of adventure. Some- 
times marauders lurked in the retired creeks and darted out 

, , 

upon the unsuspecting voyager; sometimes they made 
sudden descents upon the land, and as suddenly re-embarked, 
carrying away both animals and inanimate property alike.' 
The general expressions for pillaging, 4 in Greek <f>epeiv KOI 
ayew, in Latin ferre et agere, betoken the twofold idea, that 
is, seizing movables and driving cattle. 5 But they were 
not scrupulous as to the character of the booty slaves, and 
frequently unprotected women were among their spoils. 6 

are, now that they have had food enough. Strangers, who are ye ? 
Whence sail ye over the wet ways ? On some trading enterprise, or at 
adventure do ye rove, even as sea-robbers over the brine, for they wander 
at hazard of their own lives, bringing bale to alien men." (BUTCHER 
and LANG, transl.} 

1 vi. 22. " Freebooting involves no disgrace, so long as it is carried on 
outside the boundaries of each township, and they declare that it is 
directed towards giving their youth practice and discouraging idleness." 
Similarly the Thracians gloried in piracy and war. Herod, v. 6. 

2 Odyss. iii. 106. 

3 Cf. Vergil, sEneid ii . 374, alii rapiunt incensa feruntque Pergama. 

4 The same idea is conveyed by the graphic words apnd&tv, apnaKT^p, 
lit. " snatch away," " snatchers " ; they also occur in Homer. 

5 Like the Scotch "reave and harry." Cf. Odyss. xxi. 17 ; xxiv. 112. 

6 Cf. Ch. vi., p. 56, and Ch. xviii., p. 242. 


Such an occupation was often not unaccompanied by 
danger, nor the descents on strange countries unavenged. 
Assuming the character of a Greek well situated in the 
world Odysseus in a graphic narrative describes his downfall. 
At the prompting of the god Zeus, he had joined a band of 
wandering sea-robbers on an expedition to Egypt. Arrived 
at the mouth of the Nile he directed his ship's company to 
stay and guard the ships ; but they disobeyed to their ruin and 
fell to wasting the fair fields of the Egyptians ; they carried 
away the wives and infant children and slew the men, but 
not with impunity. For the alarm was raised, and down 
came the inhabitants of a neighbouring city : 

Ol 8e ftofjs atovrcs ap rjol ^c 
*HA0oi/' ir\r)To B TTOLV TrcStov ire&v re KCU 
Xa\Ko9 re orepOTnJs' Iv Zeus 
<l>uai> e/xois erapowi KOLK^V /?aAcv, ovSe TIS e 

fvavripiov irpl yap KO.KCL TravroOcv lorry. 


Tovs 8* avayov ^wovs, o'^tcrii/ tpya^ca^ai 

It would, however, be unfair to carry away the impression The begin 
that piratical pursuits alone engaged the attention of the 
early Greek in the Mediterranean. He had been forestalled 
in those waters by the subtle, far-sighted, and not a little 
unscrupulous Phoenician, but he speedily imbibed from them 
ideas of the possibilities of commercial enterprise and learnt 
from them the technicalities of sea-faring occupations. Yet 
he proceeded tentatively. The slow progress of commerce is 
attested by the wavering character and the want of precision 
in the terms employed. Some of these are peculiarly 

instructive. 2 

1 Odyss. xvii. 435, " and the people heard the shout and came forth at 
the breaking of the day ; and all the plain was filled with footmen and 
horsemen and with the glitter of bronze. And Zeus, whose joy is in the 
thunder, sent an evil panic upon my company, and none durst stand and 
face the foe : for danger encompassed us on every side. There they 
slew many of us with the edge of the sword, and others they led up alive 
to work for them perforce. "(BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) 

2 The speculations of V. Bdrard, based upon "topology," are very 
ingenious and interesting. He even regards Odyssey v. xv. as founded 


the^L b u y e - The na mes for merchant exhibit this fluctuation in the 
" e e rms. meaning of terms which we have previously observed. 1 The 
word e/LtTro/309, which in Classic Greek bore the meaning of 
merchant, first of all indicated traveller ; 2 indeed, evidence 
exists in language of a close association between the 
merchant and the traveller. When the Homeric hero 
wishes to express the idea of a merchant he is obliged to 
resort to a periphrasis. He speaks of one who : 


i/avTcuov, o? re irprjK'rijpts eatriv, 
v T iWYifJuav /cal ri<rK07ros ^criv 68aiW 
v & dpTraXeW. 3 

The growth of the word vr^ft? points in the same direc- 
tion. By a process of specialization, which is almost a 
permanent phenomenon in the history of language, the 
meaning of this word was narrowed down in course of time. 
Originally it denoted action of any kind, 4 but afterwards it 
was used for mercantile transactions. Already in Homer it 
is gradually gaining that signification, as witness the phrase 
Tr\w /cara 7rpr)%iv, 5 " to sail on a trading voyage." 6 The 
same principle may be observed in the Greek word ayopd. 
In Homer it denotes a place of assembly. But in process 
of time the place of public meeting developed naturally into 
a market-place. The transition is easily explained in view 

upon a Phoenician periplus, and thinks that Homer made much use of 
Phoenician charts and coasters' logbooks. See his De Vorigine des cultes 
Arcadiens, 1894, and his more recent work, Les Phtniciens et VOdyssee. 
The nautical terms, however, are not Phoenician. Indeed, the art of 
navigation is indebted to Greece for its most material improvements. 

1 Ch. vi., p. 66. 

' 2 Odyss. ii. 319 ; xxiv. 300. 

3 Odyss. viii. 161, "one that comes and goes in a ship of many oars, a 
master of sailors that are merchantmen, one with a memory for his 
freight, or that hath the charge of a cargo homeward bound, and of 
greedily gotten gains." ( BUTCHER and LANG, transl.) 

4 Cf. Odyss. iii. 82. 

5 Odyss. iii. 72 ; ix. 253. In the Hymn to Apollo, 397, it is connected 
with xpi?/Acmi. 

6 Cf. irprjKTrjp, " trader," Odyss. viii. 162. 


of what has already been said concerning the establishment 
of meeting-points where tribes met on their border land for 
the purposes of negotiation and barter. 

To the obstacles in the way of trade or commerce which 
have already been touched upon another consideration may 
be added. If, as we said, the free Aryan conceived a 
prejudice against agricultural pursuits, no less was the 
contempt entertained by the Homeric hero a feeling to 
which the sharp practices of Phoenician traders contributed. 1 
Odysseus repels with lofty disdain the insinuation that he is 
a merchant. 2 But when the Greeks had awakened to a com- 


consciousness of the scope offered for visits to foreign adventures 
countries, they were already at home on the seas, and had -sean. 
cultivated commerce with eminent success. At first the 
neighbouring islands or the seaboard of Asia Minor attracted 
the notice of these hardy mariners. But many years elapsed 
before they steered through the " Dark Symplegades " and 
found the slaves and timber of the Euxine, 3 a lucrative 
commodity. Wherever the Phoenician pioneer had found 
his way, the Greek mariner followed in his wake. The Egypt, 
configuration of the Greek coast and the islands which were 
dotted singly or clustered in groups all over the ^Egean 
attracted the Greek seaman. For at that day, apart from 
the sea monsters and other terrors of the deep which were 
conjured up by an active and lively fancy, navigation was 
attended with real hardships and dangers, and the sailor 
was glad to avail himself of the numerous creeks and bays 

1 The Phoenician had the character of being a finished rogue. Cf. 
Tp>KTai t Odyss. xiv. 289, XV. 416, and amirijXia ei'Sdres, xiv. 288. 

2 Odyss. yiii. 165. The word tpiropos, acquired later, won its way to 
popular estimation, meaning wholesale dealer, but Karn/Xof, "retailer," 
never commanded public regard. Cf. KanyXrvfiv. The prejudice pre- 
vailed in historic times also. Public affairs were considered the only 
subjects worthy of the attention of freemen, and in some states retail 
traders were ineligible to public office. 

3 The Black Sea was long invested with terror in the popular imagina- 
tion, and Eratosthenes (in Strabo xi., p. 495) remarks : TO iraXaiuv oCrc rbv 
Evgdvov Oappclv riva TrAfiv. Hence the word Ev&ivos is perhaps an 
euphemism, but it may contain a reference to the inhospitable character 
of the natives of the coast. Cf. Ch. xxviii., p. 396. 


offered by the indentations of the coast. On the other hand, 
the chain of islands which reached across the Mge&n ceased 
south of Crete. In all probability the Therseans were the first 
to essay the direct passage to Africa, when at the bidding 
of the Delphic oracle they sailed, as Herodotus narrates, 1 
to found a colony on that continent. To the generality 
of Greek sailors this expanse of sea was a blank. The 
mariner therefore instinctively turned his face Eastwards, 
to the coast of Asia Minor and the islands that lay around it. 
But the mysterious land of Egypt, with its wonderful wealth 
and preternatural knowledge, 2 could not fail to tempt the 
enterprising explorer, even at the risk of the loss of liberty 
and subjection to lifelong labours in Egyptian quarries. 
Reached To turn to the route which these early navigators pursued 
coasting. j n order to reach the fabled Nile, it may not be doubted 
that the earliest course open to them was by way of Cyprus. 
To venture out into mid-ocean was an exploit at which most 
men might well shudder and the boldest heart shrink, for 
apprehension did not fail to add imaginary terrors to the 
real dangers. It was therefore considered to be only within 
reach of a desperate sea-rover. 3 Even the ordinary route 
was " long and hard." 4 But the peril and difficulty of the 
adventure did not deter prowling robbers of the sea and 
even merchants bent upon more peaceful errands from 
accomplishing the voyage to the Nile. 5 

The The intellectual influences that followed upon a know- 

results of. iri , - . 

contact ledge of the sea were momentous. Something has been said 

I/e y East nd a ^ rea< ^ v 6 a bout the advantages accruing from extended 
travel, even in the limited meaning which attached to it in 

1 iv. 150. 

2 Cf. Ch. v., p. 52. 

3 See the lines quoted on p. 421. 

4 Odyss. iv. 483. 

5 It should be mentioned that a suggestive theory has been recently 
advanced by Dr. A. J. Evans. He maintains that a direct connection 
existed between Crete and the coast of Africa about 2500 B.C. The 
reader is referred to his works, as well as to Hall's The Oldest Civili- 
zation of Greece, p. 154, where the question is discussed. 

6 Ch. iv., pp. 37 38. 


those early days. It offered to the Greek mind fascinating 
fields for contemplation, and this exercise of the mental 
activities was fraught with far-reaching consequences to an 
intellect so vigorous, so rich in resource as that of the 
Greek. Not that inter-tribal barter and river navigation 
would fail to produce a certain effect, by establishing com- 
munication between the men of the coast and the men of 
the interior, but their scope was comparatively limited. Even 
the Euphrates and the Nile, so long as the view of the 
inhabitants was circumscribed by the banks of their river, 
could not widen the intellectual horizon ; rather, the civili- 
zation of these countries tended to stagnate, and the popu- 
lation to become stereotyped and count the " monotonous 
beats of the pendulum of time." To be sure, also, the visits 
of the Phoenician trader, laden with the products of other 
lands, gave the Greeks some insight into the world outside, 
but then his civilization was largely borrowed from Egypt 
and Assyria ; he spoke a strange language and bent his 
energies solely to the acquisition of wealth. He was there- 
fore at best only a useful intermediary, and, as a rule, he 
was swiftly come and gone. But the resolve on the part of 
the Greeks to commit themselves to the broad ocean 
inaugurated a fresh epoch, and the results transcended all 
expectations. A new world, or rather several worlds, 
suddenly burst upon the view, and the gates of the East 
and South opened before them. The sea brought the 
greatest contrasts together, the Eastern races with a past 
that went back to time immemorial, and the comparatively 
youthful races of the North, who had been living under 
another sky. The Ionian who first ventured upon such an 
arduous enterprise saw for the first time the thick-lipped 
^Ethiopian, and gazed with awe at the already timeworn 
memorials of dynasty upon dynasty reaching back to a vast 
antiquity and expressing a visible continuity. Thereupon 
a comparison and competition of acquirements ensued, of 
skill, of learning. Here was a new theme for thought, for 
observation and inquiry, to occupy the mind of the delighted 


discoverer. The more remunerative the interchange of ideas 
the greater the restlessness with which he pursued his 
investigation, the firmer the resolution with which he braved 
the perils of the sea, and the deeper he pushed into the 
realm of the mysterious and the unknown. 



WHEN the extraneous influences exerted by outside races The debt 
upon the civilization of Greece and Italy arose for discussion, fo Egyp 1 ? 6 
reference was made to the opinions held by M. Reinach, East, 
which, though of a somewhat revolutionary character, 
voiced a growing sentiment. To these we return for a 
moment. It was there said that according to the view of 
this scholar the debt of Europe to the East and to Egypt 
was 'overrated, and that evidence existed of a high civiliza- 
tion evolved independently on the European continent. We commerce 
now proceed, on the same principle as hitherto, to outline arts and 
briefly the intellectual movements that ensued upon the 8C 
growth of commerce, and particularly upon a knowledge of 
the East and Egypt, but a detailed discussion of the subject 
would be impossible within the present limits. This brief 
sketch of the arts and sciences will not by any means be 
adequate to their importance, but some allusion to them 
follows naturally on what was said at the end of the last 
chapter on the intellectual importance of the rise of com- 
merce on the sea. For science owes its early achievements The ship 
in no small measure to the ship ; by a continuous chain of science, 
cause and effect river navigation leads to trading along the 
coastland. This in its turn encourages enterprise on the sea 
and conduces to an extension of geographical knowledge. 
But the development does not terminate there, for out of 


these are evolved, in a natural order and sequence, astronomy, 
trade, both retail and wholesale, and ultimately law. 1 

But apart from the mutual connection of the arts and 
sciences with commerce, they possess an individual interest. 
An examination of the earliest efforts in the direction of 
science and art helps us to understand the working of the 
human mind in the barbarian twilight that marked the 
transition from savagery to civilization. A comparison of 
these initial stages on European soil with the standard of 
attainment after their contact with the East and with Egypt 
will enable us to realize what additions the inhabitants of 
the latter made to the encyclopaedia of knowledge in Europe. 
Magic and The practice of magic will serve a threefold purpose. It 


may appear strange to cite magic in illustration of the 
relations between Europe and the East or as an instance of 
scientific evolution. The truth is, however, that it has a 
bearing upon the early stages of science. The relations of 
magic to science were not unrecognized in that pre-scien- 
tific age. Even the term mathematici is in post-Augustan 
literature applied to the astrologer as well as to the serious 
scientific inquirer, and that class of men earned for them- 
selves an unenviable reputation for the practice of the black 
arts. 2 But this development wilj become clearer as we 

origin of The forces of nature were regarded by early races and 
maglc ' mankind was for ages content with the solution as the 
work of spirits and demons, who were supposed to range 
through every part of nature, and the same belief prevails 
w ^ e ty a t this day. Accordingly, instead of trying to under- 
stand the laws that governed nature, the savage endeavours 
to control these preternatural agents, to counteract their 
activities by whatever means may seem to lie in his power, to 
cripple their dreaded influence by spell and incantation. 
Hence the universality of the faith in magic and witch- 

1 Cf. yon Ihering, 213, who traces this gradual evolution in the 
Babylonian world. 

2 Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 248 ; Tacitus, Hist. i. 22 ; Tertull., Apol. 43. 


craft. Hence the uniformity of belief that prevails, and the 
correspondence that exists between the phenomena presented 
by magic in all parts of the globe, for nature is ever and 
everywhere one and the same. Hence the usurpations of 
the magic-monger, wherever he is found, whether he be the 
juggler of India, the medicine-man of North America, the 
fetish-priest of Africa, or the Shaman of Siberia. 

The chief office of the magician, then, consisted in avert- Greek 
ing calamity by means of the propitiation and deception of 

superior powers. The Greek quacks (y&rjTes) were of an 
itinerant and inferior order, but descended directly from the 
sorcerers of a barbarous age. They addressed themselves 
to the task of obtaining the mastery over the supernatural 
agents, to whom the operations of nature were attributed, and 
of making nature subservient by such means to their 
commands. They practised upon the credulity of the age 
with eminent success. Unquestionably of purely native 
origin, they always remained unconnected with the magic 
practices imported from other countries. 1 Their name attests 
at once their origin and their methods. For the word 70779 
evidently refers to the weird and unearthly howls (7001) with 
which they called up spirits to execute their will. 

Further, among savage races and among the less progres- 
sive elements of current civilizations women are credited 
with peculiar powers. Especially is this the case where the 
men fight and hunt. The women gather herbs and prepare 
salves for the wounds of their lords. But some persons in 
early Greece and Italy acquired a special reputation for 
their decoctions. Accumulated experience brought with it 
superior skill ; the operations of the older women were 
looked on with awe, and their persons in consequence were 
invested in the popular imagination with a superior holiness 
and preternatural powers to curse as well as to cure. 

The early races of Europe were no exception to this 

1 Plato, Laws xi., 12. Cf. Maury, La magie et Vastrologie, Paris, 
1877, P- 52. 

Son n o e f C " general practice of magic, and legendary lore in every 

country abounds with accounts of their pretensions. It 
may be observed here that this circumstance brings magic 
into relation with the extension of commerce and the records 
of travel in the dawn of European history. The intrepid 
but credulous travellers who, tempted by gain more than 
by a desire of satisfying curiosity or obtaining information, 
and possessing more insight into the possibilities of trade 
than knowledge of the phenomena of nature, explored the 
most distant parts of the earth known at the time, 
brought back with them weird accounts of " wise women " 
of exceptional skill, and these were invested in the minds of the 
untutored classes of the population with a halo of supernatural 
sanctity. Afterwards they were idealized by the poets and 
woven into the web of Greek mythology. Many and 
wonderful were the tales told of such sorceresses, who 
gathered witch-herbs, chanted charms, and brewed draughts 
potent to preserve their favourites from danger, to make 
heroes resistless in the battlefield, but equally powerful to 
deal destruction and desolation at the joyous banquet. 

Some of the most strange and fascinating stories of such 
circe. sorceresses appear in Greek literature. No episode in the 
Odyssey surpasses in weird interest the thrilling adventures 
of its hero Odysseus in the island of the enchantress Circe. 1 
This awful goddess of mortal speech, who was appropriately 
described as deriving her lineage from the sun, the source 
not only of physical but intellectual illumination, dwelt in 
the deep forest glades of the island of Ma. Around her 
palace ramped the wolves and lions whom the goddess had 
bewitched with baleful drugs. Their mistress whiled away 
the hours in faring to and fro before the loom, singing the 
while. 2 Such was the tenant of the "isle Mean." Odysseus's 
men set foot on her shores to their cost. No sooner had they 

1 Odyss. x. 140. 

Music is generally a powerful influence in the hands of the magician. 
Cf. the verb nrjXflv in Plato, Phcedr. 2670, Rep. 3586, and n 
" proof against enchantment," Phadr. 2596. 


arrived at her halls, than she administered to them a potion 
which quenched all memory of their country. Presently, with 
a stroke of her wand, she transformed them into swine. She 
was afterwards prevailed upon to release them from the 
power of her spell. Under the threats of Odysseus, she 
restored them to human shape. 

Less august, but no less awful, was Medea of Colchis, Medea, 
another daughter of the sun and sister to Circe. Her very 
name is indicative of her profession. She is pre-eminently 
the " wise woman." ! Her sinister figure arrests the atten- 
tion more than any other of the actors in the story of the 
Argonauts who essayed the dangerous journey through the 
Dark Symplegades, the dark, rock-bound, floating islands 
through which no ship could pass and live. She helped 
Jason to avert the perils prepared for him in his quest for the 
Golden Fleece, and supplied him with means to resist both 
fire and steel. But she was equally powerful to destroy 
those who earned her hatred. 8 

The ordinary practitioner likewise was credited with magician' 
powers which might be used for good or evil ends, and in methods - 
his endeavour to bring nature spirits under his influence he ole" encc 
resorted to various methods. Some of them are on a par Nature - 
with the Redskin's medicine-man. The rainmaker is af h e ntro101 
prominent figure in the life of untutored tribes, and needs no elements - 
introduction. But it is noteworthy that in Greece and 
Italy also there existed magicians who pretended to the 
power of controlling the elements, and their methods exhibit 
no superiority over the tricks employed to deceive savage 
simplicity at this day. It is not improbable that the legend 
of the Bag of ^Eolus, the steward of the winds, is a 
reminiscence of some wizard in a distant land. 3 Magnified 

r, " counsel," " wisdom," " cunning." 

2 The women of Thessaly had the name of being expert sorceresses. 
Cf. Plato, Gcorg^ p. 513 ; Aristoph., Clouds 548. 

3 But the legend does not stand alone. See Frazer's Pausanias x. 1 1, 
3, where a number of others in Africa, China, and the Pacific Islands 
are quoted. 


accounts of his skill and power had been brought back 
by the superstitious traveller. They were repeated by 
credulous hearers, rooted themselves in popular belief, and 
became incorporated into the fabric of popular religion. 

The Homeric account which forms the groundwork of 
the relations between the human ^Eolus with the ruler over 
the winds runs as follows. 1 He dwelt upon a floating 
island, 2 and kept guard over the cave of the winds. All 
around stood a wall of bronze unbroken and the cliff rose 
sheer from the beach. He entertained Odysseus kindly for 
a whole month, and on the hero's departure made him a 
gift :- 

Aw/ce /JLOL 

8* en yXa<f>vpr) /careSei ^pfuOi <}>a.wfj 
'Apyvpey, wa fjirj TL TrapaTrveva-y oXiyov Trep. 3 

The sequel is well known. Through the recklessness of 
the crew, who, consumed with curiosity, opened the bag, 
the winds escaped, with disastrous results. Odysseus was 
once more baffled, and his endeavours to return home 

Magicians' But whatever may have been the origin of this legend, 

th<T ei er several authors vouch for the belief that the winds 4 and 

hailstorms 5 yielded obedience to the magician, much as 

1 Odyss. x. 2. The name moXos, "rapid," suggests the origin of his 
sovereignty over the winds, and popular etymologists saw in it a connec- 
tion with aeXAa, "whirlwind." Cf. 'AeXX&>, " storm -swift," the name of 
one of the Harpies. Hesiod, Tkeog. 267. 

2 In the time of Pausanias this island was identified with Lipara 
(Paus. x. ii., 3) ; at a later period the claim was disputed by Strongyle, 
Thrace and Rhegium. 

3 x. 19. " He gave me a wallet, made of the hide ot an ox of nine 
seasons old, which he let flay, and therein he bound the ways of all the 
noisy winds . . . And he made it fast in the hold of the ship, with a 
shining silver thong, that not the faintest breath might escape." 
(BUTCHER and LANG, transl.} 

4 Seneca, Qucest. nat. iv. 7 ; Diogen., Lcert. viii. 59 ; Plin., Hist. 
Nat. xvii. 28 ; xxviii. 2. 

5 At Cleonae certain priests pretended to the power of calling down 
hail by means of magic ceremonies. These bore the name of 


among fetish priests and medicine-men in Africa or America 
at this day. 1 Still more common are the allusions to wizards 
and sorceresses, who claimed the power of bringing down the 
heavenly bodies by means of charms. 2 Indeed, the number and 
of formulae, incantations, and other methods, which they bodies" y 
employed with brilliant success to impose upon the credulous, 
defy imagination. 

Thus far the influence of the magician was in some senses * llcncc 
beneficent, or at any rate harmless, but his skill or pre- 
tentions to skill might be wielded with deadly effect, and 
occa'sion untold misery to those for whom he was supposed 
to be preparing destruction. Not only were invidious 
epithets applied to the exercise of the art, as in Homer, 3 
where Eidothee describes the shifts of Proteus (" Firstborn "), 
the old man of the sea, who possesses the gift of prophecy 
and self-transformation. His practices are deadly, oXotfxoia. 
In like manner elsewhere drugs are evil (tcatca <t>dpfjuiica) * or 
baneful (\vjpd). 5 It is not a little significant that the word 
(fxippaKov itself was debased from its original meaning of 
" healing herb " and " simple " 6 to " deadly drug," a proof 
of the uses to which the black arts were put by their 
unscrupulous professors. So, in like manner, the Latin 
jnaleficus and malefica again and again occupy the attention 
of the Latin poets, and venefica, " poison maker," was the 
general name for preparers of magical medicines. Indeed, 
no limit was set by the popular fancy to the exercise of the 

rf)v\aK(s. Seneca, Qucest. Nat. iv. 6 ; and Clem. Alex., Stromat. vi. 
p. 268. See the reference to Pliny, p. 439 and note, and also Maury, Lii 
Magie y p. 51 n. 

1 Cf. the rain-magic connected with the worship of Demeter at Eleusis. 
The votaries of the goddess poured out water, gazed into heaven, and 
shouted vf (" rain ! "). To stop a drought the Roman pontiffs used to 
bring the lapis manalis, a stone which lay in the temple of Mars, into 
the city. Preller, Rom. Myth. i. 354. 

* ray<yat, jcaraAfffyio^ Plato, Rep. ii., p. 364 ; Legg. xi., p. 933. 

3 Odyss. iv. 410. 

4 Odyss. x. 213. 

6 x. 236 ; xiii. 429. Cf. 7roXu$cl/;/iUKOi in reference to Circe. Odyss. x. 276; 
and Wachsmuth, Das alte Griechenland ini neuen % 35 and 60. 
6 From root bhar, " carry" (as in <op'rpa, " quiver "). 



magician's power, and any offence done to him opened up a 
train of awful possibilities. Very common was the belief 
that he could convert his victims into wolves (Xv/cavO porn- la). 1 
But no device placed the unhappy creature who provoked 
the magician's resentment more completely at the mercy of 
his dreaded enemy than the possession either of an image of 
the delinquent or some part of his body, however trifling. 

Apart from the professed sorcerer's skill, it was believed 
that if a ill-wisher, whoever he might be, made a figure of 
wax or any similar substance representing an obnoxious 
neighbour, and stabbed it with a needle, 2 a similar "fate 
would befall the object of his wrath, whether present or 
absent. The man who believed himself to be the subject of 
such malevolent fascination found life unendurable, and was 
often driven to distraction. 3 But it would be an endless 
task to cite instances of this blighting superstition. Suffice 
to say, it was as widespread as ancient. 4 Still, on the 
whole, in spite of the evidence adduced in the foregoing 

1 This was a very ancient and widespread superstition. Paus. viii. 22 ; 
Vergil, Ed. viii. 97 ; Ovid, Met. i: 232. Cf. Maury. La Magie, 51 ; and 
it has survived to our day. Clodd, Myths and Dreams ', 81 ; and 
Leubuscher, Uber die Wehrwolfe und Thierverwandlungen im Mittelalter, 
Berlin, 1850. The idea has perpetuated itself in Modern Greece. The 
bones of a dead man are gathered after the lapse of three years. If they 
are not mouldered the relatives fear the deceased has become a 
vrukolakas or vampire, from the Slavonic for " wehrwolf." Cf. Servian 
wukodlak (<wuk, " wolf," and dlak, " hair "), Polish ivilkolak^ Bohemian 
wlkolak (Wachsmuth, 115). 

2 The Latin term is defgere (Plin., Hist. Nat. xxviii. 15-19). Some- 
times the name of the victim was written in wax and pricked with a 
sharp instrument. Cf. Ovid, Am. iii. 7, 29 ; Orelli, Inscript. 3726 ; 
Vergil, Cir. 376. But it flourished in Greece also (Plin., I.e. ; Lang, 
Custom and Myth, 20), among the Accadians and the Welsh. The 
fear inspired by sorcerers and magicians gave rise to the institution 
of penal enactments ; a few references are subjoined. Of such 
penalties in Greece we read in Plato, Laws xi. 933 ; Pol., 29, p. 546. 
As regards Italy we have the testimony of the XII. Tables : Qui 
fruges excantassit qui malum carmen incantassit ; Senec., Qucsst. 
Nat. i. 4, 7. Similar prohibitions appear among the Hebrews (Numbers 
xxiii. 23 ; Deut. xviii. 10, u). But though with the lapse of time the 
laws became still stricter, magic lived on. 

3 An Australian aborigine when placed under a taboo has been known 
to die in twenty-four hours. 

4 Cf. Jastrow, Fact and Fable in Psychology, 240, 241, 246. 


pages, it may be said that magic, if not an exotic in Greece, 
was at all events uncongenial to the Greek temperament, 
which was impatient of mystery and intolerant of control. 
This is implied in the facts already mentioned. Circe and 
Medea are foreigners, and the native sorcerers never acquired 
such importance and influence as they were able to achieve 
among races cognate and contiguous to the Greeks. 

But it was otherwise when commerce and adventure intro- 
duced them to the East, and especially to the Land of the.Nile. 

The free communication with Egypt and the frequent The effect 

,r of contact 

travels that ensued upon the spread of commerce imparted with ^ 
an incalculable impulse to the cultivation of magic and the the East- 
sciences or arts with which magic was allied. For these the 
practice of magic was in some sense a preparation; by means 
of them men grasped, at any rate to some extent, the 
secrets of nature for which magic had groped in the dark. 
But the early efforts of the magician on the European 
continent paled into insignificance beside the brilliant 
accomplishments of his brother practitioner in the East and 
in Egypt. The truth is, the Eastern temperament not only 
is singularly susceptible to the influence of the black arts, 
but finds them congenial and is peculiarly gifted in that 
direction ; there is abundant evidence, documentary and 
traditional, sacred and secular, of the prevalence of magical 
practices in both countries. 1 The Greek, therefore, when 
he made the acquaintance of the wisdom of the East for the 
first time, realized that he had hitherto been cultivating 
comparatively an oasis in the desert of the knowledge of the 
preternatural world. 

To ensure success and justify pretensions, magicians must e icians , 
acquire some knowledge of nature, for we need not altogether 
ascribe their success to subtlety of mind or a clever elabora- 
tion of sleight of hand. It may well be supposed that they 
possessed a knowledge of the influence of the mind over the 

1 The Fayfim Manuscripts, which were discovered in Egypt about 
twenty years since, go back to a very early period ; one of them dates 
from 1 200 B.C. They are largely composed of magical writings. 


body, which is now acknowledged to be powerful and far- 
reaching.- An acquaintance with the rudiments of modern 
magnetism, or even the gradual development of hypnotism from 
magnetism, 1 may serve to explain their achievements and 
paramount influence over the mind of man. 2 

Astrology To recapitulate what has been said on this subject, the 
Astronomy magicians anticipated in some measure, or at least attempted 
to anticipate, the speculations of physical science. It may be 
assumed that they knew something of the changes of the 
Alchemy, atmosphere and the motions of the planets. The same may 
and y ' be said of their insight into certain laws of nature and of the 
science. medicinal properties of plants. Accordingly they enjoyed 
a practical monopoly of the arts of healing. When their 
supremacy in these departments ceased with the advance 
of knowledge, they took refuge elsewhere, in the provinces 
physio- f phy s ilgy and psychology. The experience of human 
ps?cho- d character thus acquired was at all times invaluable to them 
logy> in obtaining hold upon the human imagination and playing 
upon human weakness, until a more advanced knowledge or 
investigation of nature by disclosing the causes of phenomena 
destroyed the fear of them. But magic died hard. Though 
natural philosophy made advances by degrees, especially in 
the person of the Epicurean School which plumed itself 
on its attainments, human nature was stronger still, and 
the magician, despite the attendant absurdities and abomina- 
tions of his craft, continued to flourish. Ultimately he was 
expelled from the above spheres of operation also, but only 
receded sullenly before the advance of a critical science. 
Thus, so long as magic existed, it indisputably wielded an 
enormous force, holding in terror the minds of the populace 
and crushing them under a weight of superstition. 

1 Cf. A. Moll, History of Hypnotism, p. i. 

" The fact that particular psychical results can be induced in human 
beings by certain physical processes, e.g. by gazing into vessels and on 
crystals, has long been known in the East and Egypt. Cf. Moll, ibid., 
and Beaman, Twenty Years in the Near East, p. 222. This method of 
divination was known in Greece as XeKayo/jcureia and 
Cf. \fKav6p.avTis, " dish-diviner," in Strabo, 762. 


From what has been said it will be seen that magic bore Medicine, 
an intimate relation to medicine, and in dealing with magic 
we have already to some extent forestalled what need be said 
on that subject. The laws of nature, as has been seen, were 
little known ; one thing was not more incredible than 
another. When it was discovered by accident or investiga- 
tion that certain plants produced powerful effects upon the 
constitution of men and animals, all kinds of imaginary 
properties were also ascribed to them in an arbitrary 
manner. The more horrible the ingredient the greater its 

The knowledge of the physical frame in the primitive Primitive 
periods must have been very vague, as is shown by the jjy psych, 
circumstance that Homer had no clear conception of the 
respective functions of the bodily organs. Indeed, the use 
of some words in the Greek tragedians betrays a similar 
ignorance. The following terms supply instances of such 
indistinctness. The breast was regarded as the seat of the 
feelings and intelligence, and the heart as the organ of the ex- 
pression of them. Pectus and cor^ as used by Plautus, <j>pr)v 
and (TTrjOos in Homer, are instances in point, and other 
parts were in like manner considered to be the seat of the 
emotions, the liver (fiirap) and the nobler organs (a-7r\dyxva). 
But in matter of fact these theories are shared by barbarous 
races at this day who are utterly unconnected with the 
Greeks and Italians. 

The practice of medicine among the Homeric Greeks was Jj^f "ork of 
on a par with their proficiency in anatomy. The afflictions evil spirits. 
both of body and mind were attributed to evil spirits who 
were constantly plotting against health and happiness. 
Innumerable instances of this conviction might be given ; -' 
indeed, the mass and multiplicity of the material available 
is so large that only a few examples can be quoted. 

1 Cf. Cordatus, " wise," " sagacious," in Ennius ap. Cic., Tusc. 
Disp. i. 9, 1 8 ; and Corculi : praestitere ceteros mortales sapientia, ob id 
Cati, Corculi apud Romanes cognominati. Pliny vii. 31, n8u 

- Cf. Zimmer, Alt, Leben, 394, 395. 


The following are among the number. The Iliad opens 
with a description of a plague which was sent by Apollo 
in revenge for the insult to his priest, 1 and this strikes 
the keynote and furnishes the motive of the epic. Sudden 
death was also ascribed to the same god, and in the case of 
women to his sister Artemis ; but judging by the epithet 
ayavos, " gentle," applied to such an event, 2 the visitation 
was looked upon as a favour conferred by these divinities, 
inasmuch as it released the objects of their compassion from 
worldly woe, and saved them from lingering decline a fate 
so repugnant to the mind of a laughter-loving Greek, who 
knew the art of enjoying life to the full. 3 

Mental The belief in demoniacal influence as a cause of aberration 
aberration. o f ^g m j n( i i s widespread. If in the opinion of the savage 
the evil agent occasions bodily disorders, much more does 
mental derangement lend colour to that view. Such an 
idea occurs frequently in the classics, and has continued 
down to our day. The terms vv^ok^irro^ 4 and lyniphatus 
or lymphaticus, " entranced," " distracted," have preserved 
in a fossilized form this prevalent superstition. For they 
refer to the agency of nymphs or other water-sprites who 
have bereft the unfortunate being of his senses. 5 Again, 
oblucuviasse recalled the belief entertained by the early 
Romans to the effect that if anyone met a god in a forest, 
he lost his reason. 6 Epilepsy, in like manner, was supposed 

1 i. 43- 

2 Iliad JCfiw. 759 ; Odyss. iii. 280 ; xi. 318 ; xv. 410. Cf. xxiii. 281. 

3 Cf. Ch. xiv., p. 177. 

4 Cf. Plato, Phcedr. 265. The inhabitants of Andros and Kythnos, in 
the Greek Archipelago, believe that consumption is caused by evil 
spirits, called the Erinyes (see p. 126), which will eat into the vitals of a 
patient, and " seize on anyone they can when the person dies." They 
consequently " open a hole in the roof, over the dead man's head, out of 
which the spirits can escape." 

5 Cf. pdpyrfv <re 0eoi 0eVaf, Odyss. xxiii. 1 1 ; rot) fie rts aBavarutv /3Xetye 
(f>pevas evSov e'tcras, xiv. 278. The belief survives in Modern Greece, 
where baneful influence is attributed to the Nereids. See Bent, The 
Cyclades, 14. 

6 Fest., p. 187, Miiller. From lucus, " a grove," via " a way." Others 
read oblucinasse. 


to be due to possession. It was a " seizure," l and con- 
sequently was called the sacred disease (lepa i>6o-o?, 2 morbus 
divinus or sacer). One result of this widespread conviction The 
concerning the origin of disease was that those who were in!nta- 
thus afflicted were regarded with superstitious reverence, 3 and 
since the disease was the work of bad spirits, the remedy 
must be directed against thenV The patient then must 
address himself to the task of scaring away the evil agent, 
and this could only be effected by breaking the spell. The 
incantations employed in such cases are mentioned by 
Homer. When Odysseus is wounded, the stream of blood 
is staunched by a " song of healing," a charm. But this is 
only one out of several instances in the Greek epics. 5 

The Italic races resorted to similar expedients. The 
natural historian, Pliny, refers more than once to the 
practice, as, for example, in these words : Carmina 
quaedam exstant contra grandines contraque morborum 
genera ; 6 and Gellius likewise alludes to the use of incanta- 
tions by the Marsi. 7 Yet more strange are the mystic words 
which, according to Cato, 8 were employed in restoring 
dislocated limbs daries, bodanna, damia, asiadarides, huai, 
ista, pista and others. These terms are probably insoluble, 
but betray traces of their Oriental origin, and point to the 
influence of Egyptian and Babylonian magic. 9 

But in course of time a truer philosophy prevailed, and 
rational methods supplanted magical medicine. The art of 
healing in the, proper sense of the term came into vogue, 

Cf. Ch. vi., p. 64. 

Herod, iii. 33. It was also called voa-os 'HpcucAttV 

So in Modern Greece. Cf. Wachsmuth, Das alte GriecJienland im 
neuen, po. 32-34. 

Cf. Zimmer, Alt. Leben, 396 ; Bent, The Cyclades, 74. 

Odyss. xix. 457. Cf. Sophocles, Ajax, 582 : ^schylus, TV., 132 ; 
Pindar, Pyth. iii. 51 ; iv. 384; Herod, i. 132 (a reference to the Magi). 

6 Hist. Nat. xxviii. 29. " Some incantations against hail and forms of 
disease still survive." 

7 xvi. ii. 

8 De Agr., 160. 

9 So Welcker, Epoden oder das Besprechen, in A7. Schriften iii. 64, and 
Schrader, Reallex., 47. 


Jv'ldence of an d language has recorded the transition from one method 
language. to the othen Sometimes the two methods are associated, 
at others they are distinguished, as in the Avestan ex- 
pressions urvard-baesaza, " healing by means of herbs," and 
maBrd-baesaza, " healing by incantations." l 

Many other phrases and technical terms connected with 
medicine mark the change of practice. 2 Some single words 
also bear traces of the supersession of magical imposture 3 
by medical skill. Such is the word fyappaicov. This is 
doubtless connected with the Lithuanian buriu and bftrti, 
both of which indicate the exercise of magic. Afterwards it 
acquired the meaning of " enchanted potion " or " poison." 

The question arises as to the time when the change came 
about. We shall probably be right in connecting the rise of 
of h bota^y n botany or the knowledge of herbs with the pastoral age. 4 
Some acquaintance with the healing or hurtful properties of 
plants was a necessity in an age when flocks and herds 
formed the staple means of subsistence. As in modern days 
a pastoral people possess a closer familiarity with the nature 
of herbs, so an elementary knowledge of their qualities may be 
premised of the pastoral period of the Aryan races. If, how- 
ever, we seek an occasion on which a knowledge of surgery 
would be especially desirable, the battlefield would supply it. 
It was there, above all, that a surgical knowledge was 
useful for the dressing of wounds, and it is to the exigencies 
of war that the beginning of surgical science should be 
traced. So much at any rate may be gathered from the 
pages of Homer. Still, no professional physician appears as 
yet upon the scene. The Homeric hero attends to the 
wound of a stricken comrade. Achilles is one of those who 
are distinguished for their skill, for has he not been trained 

1 Cf. the contemptuous comparison implied in the passage from Soph., 
Ajax, 582, Oprjvflv eTradas irpos TopSavTi Trepan. 

2 The two methods are found in combination in many civilized 
countries. Cf. Bent, The Cyclades, 484, where he relates personal 
experiences in the island of Amorgos. 

3 Schrader, Reallex., 47. 

4 On the pastoral age see Ch. ix., pp. 102-112. 


by Chiron, the Centaur, who was past master of the art ? 
He understands the nature of soothing drugs (rfma fyappaKa)* 
and attends to Patroclus's wound. Podalirius and Machaon, 
the sons of Asklepios, 2 approximate more nearly than any 
other Homeric personage to the professional physician, but 
they are warriors as well, and primarily warriors. So 
likewise the ivjrpoi, " leeches," who are mentioned in the 
poem, 3 do not devote themselves exclusively to the pursuit, 
but follow the profession of arms. Thus gradually some 
men and women acquired a name for "wisdom" above' 
their fellows. Such is the import of many proper names 
which were applied to those who were eminently skilful and 
successful in the treatment of disease ^yafujBrj 4 and 
nepifjLtjSijf which contain the same root as the medical 
terms in Latin, mederi, " heal " ; medicus, " physician " ; 
and medicina, " the art of healing." 

The Odyssey discloses an advance towards the formation The ^ 
of a class of physicians (t*?T?}pe9), a circumstance which may 
be regarded as a fresh indication of the higher civilization, 
and consequently the later composition of that epic. Still, 
neither have they here attained to the position of a class in 
the social structure, and they are classed with 

fj.<vrtv rj rjrrjpa KO.KUV r\ TCKTOVCL 

There can be no doubt, however, that an increased 

1 Iliad xi. 832. 

2 The patron of physicians. He is represented in mythology as a son 
of Apollo, himself a god of healing Ilaidv, naiwi/, Uatfjvv. His original 
home was probably in the neighbourhood of Trikka, in Thessaly, near 
Mount Pindos. In like manner the Eastern Aryans and the Phoenicians 
had a god of healing. The Romans, who were largely indebted to the 
Greeks for their medical knowledge, adopted this god, with a slight 
change of name into /Esculapius. 

3 Iliad x\\\. 213 ; xvi. 28. 

4 Iliad xi. 741. 

r> Cf. p. 431, and Ch. xxiv., p. 322, note. 

" " A seer, or healer of ills, or ship carpenter." Cf. Ch. xx., p. 265. 
It is significant too that the sacerdotal class have not taken possession of 
the practice of medicine in Homer's time. Afterwards, however, they 
enjoyed almost a monopoly of it, and they learnt fully to appreciate the 
value of the possession. 


Egypt. acquaintance with the expert physicians of Egypt, where 
each man was expected to possess a knowledge of one 
disease and its treatment, and the high attainments of the 
Egyptian leeches lent an impulse to the study of medicine in 
Greece. The family of the Asklepiadae practised healing as 
a secret science and acquired a wide reputation. 1 But the 
Greek physicians never formed such powerful organizations 
as were to be found in the land of the Nile. 

The art of Hitherto we have taken the rudiments of science as 
illustrations of the native developments on European soil, 
and of Eastern or Egyptian influence upon them. We turn 
to the origin and rise of the art of writing. That the 
acquisition of a method of writing was attended by the 
utmost benefit to the individual and the most extensive 
advantage to society hardly need be mentioned. It gave 
permanence to science, history, and law. No more fascinating 
field is presented to view than the history of this art ; none 
affords a better insight into the working of the human mind 
and the endeavour to express its thoughts ; none furnishes a 
more suggestive instance of development. The truth is, our 
system of writing is the latest result of a development 
extending over thousands of years ; it is probably older than 
the Pyramids of Egypt, and, with the exception of the signs 
of the Zodiac, the oldest monument of human civilization. 

what is To find the germs of writing we must look to the earliest 
specimens of art. These, as we saw, 2 are found beyond the 
range of chronology, and existed as early as the Stone age, 

1 The method known as eyKoipaadcu, eyKoi^a-is, incubatio, is well 
known. The patient was put to sleep in the temple, and the god was 
supposed to prescribe remedies in dreams. The priests applied them. 
Strabo 508, 761 ; Herod, viii. 134 ; Arist., Plut. passim; Tert., Anim. 49. 
See also Frazer on Paus. ii. n, 6 ; ii. 27, 2. Strabo, 374, says that 
votive tablets were erected by grateful patients, and some have been 
discovered by Mr. Cavvadias in the sanctuary of yEsculapius at Epidaurus. 
Aristides, the Rhetorician, experienced a remarkable cure in this way, 
and the Emperor Marcus Aurelius also refers with gratitude to the relief 
he obtained. The custom continues, with some changes, in Tenos (Bent, 
The Cyclades, p. 242). 

2 Ch. v., p. 47. 


when animals now extinct ranged the forest or floundered 
in the swamps of Europe. Rude sketches of objects, like a 
flower or a mammoth, or of a scene, such as an encounter 
between bears or a buffalo hunt, have from time to time 
been disclosed to view. These early attempts at an imi- 
tation of nature contain the primitive elements of writing. 
Accordingly the terms " painting " and " writing " are in a 
sense interchangeable. Underneath both of them lies the 
same idea, and they both aim at the same purpose, namely, 
the retention of objects or impressions in the memory by 
means of visible signs. 

Some ancient languages, faithful but unconscious recorders J v h {5 enceof 
of the growth of thought, furnish testimony to this effect. 
The Greek ypd<f)a) and ypa^tj meant respectively either to 
write ! or to paint. The Sanskrit lip, lipi-, " to write " and 
" writing," recall the original notion of " smearing " 2 or ' 
" rubbing over " ; but likh, another Sanskrit root, connotes 
a different idea, that of " cutting," " scratching." 3 The ' 
Latin litera again points to the use of colouring, for it is 
doubtless connected with linere, " smear," and tinea, " line," 
is probably derived from the same source. But the commoner 
idea is that of scratching and carving, as witness the Latin 
scribere? the Greek xapatcTijpf and the English " write." 6 
Further, all these bring to mind the earliest materials which 
were used for writing, namely, stone, metal or wood. 

Since, as we have seen, the primitive method of com- 
municating ideas and retaining impressions was so simple, 
it is not surprising that we are able to find that various afewra s. 

1 Cf. 

Cf. dXf t'0o), " anoint " ; T& AiVor, " grease " ; \mapos, " greasy,"- 
"shiny"; lippus, "blear-eyed"; and (by a curious divergence of 
meaning) Xtrrapeti/, "beseech" (lit. "stick to," "persist") ; and German 
bleiben, " remain." Lanman, 243. 

3 Cf. *>iW, "to furrow"; e>'x&>, "tear," "rend"; Latin rima 
(*ric-ma), " crack," " chink." Ibid., 243. 

4 Ci.Aneid {.482. 

6 " Whence our characters," and " character." The original meaning 
of xapfiKTTjp is " graving-tool,'' from ^npao-orfti/, " to sharpen,'' "scratch.'' 
6 From the same root as the German ritzen, " to scratch." 


forms of writing originated independently in different parts 
ideo- of the globe. But even pictorial writing, however rude and 
pi?mre- r elementary, was not the earliest expedient employed as an 
There m( ^ ex to tne thought struggling for expression. The 
semblance methods of communication which many races have em- 

methods of Pl ve d anc * st iU employ at this day, though widely separated 

races 18 fr m each other by time and distance, and though utterly 

unlike in character, reveal some curious correspondences. 

fchiev d e s . f Ari stotle l states that the Iberians were in the habit of 

wl?. ts in Pacing around the tomb of a warrior as many obelisks as he 

had killed enemies in war. In like manner the transverse 

lines on the graveboards placed over Indian war-chiefs serve 

as tokens of their progress and records of their career. 2 

But sometimes such graphic representations assume a 
fuller form. The message sent by Idanthyrsus, chief of the 
Scythian tribes, to Darius, King of the Persians, who had 
% invaded his territory, is well known. The Scythians adopted 
the same kind of strategy which was practised by their 
successors against Napoleon. After luring the Persian army 
into the treacherous morasses and impenetrable forests, far 
from the bridge which had been cast over the Danube, the 
Scythian commander sent to his Persian opponent a bird, a 
mouse, a frog, and five arrows, intimating that unless he 
could fly, hide or dive into water, he would fall by the arrows 
of the Scythians. 3 The Persians also in their dealing with 
the Greeks resorted to measures of the same kind, when 
laying before them important issues, and the Romans, in 
communicating with the Carthaginians, employed the lance 
and staff to express the alternatives, war and peace. 

The appearance in two hemispheres of such systems of 

1 Pol. vii. 2, p. 220. 

2 Tylor, Anakuac, 185 ; Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, 50; Dawson, 
Fossil Men, 265, 270, 289. According to Safaffk, the Bulgarian monk 
Chraber found no letter system among the Slavs, but notched staves 
with a conventional meaning. 

3 Gulden, History of the Five Nations, speaks of a similar symbolical 
defiance sent by the Iroquois to Count de Frontenac in 1696. Max 
Miiller, Chips from a German Workshop, p. 315. 


making thoughts known shows that they are neither 
coincidences nor connected with each other, but are the 

7 countries. 

result of the operation of natural laws of the human mind. 
Nor are such usages confined to ancient races. It is said 
that in Eastern countries a pictorial representation of the 
following 1 description may be seen over the door of a faithful 
Mahommedan at the present day. On the signboard are 
depicted groups consisting of cottages, a mosque, a camel 
loaded with tapestry, another with a rider on its back, water, 
a ship, more camels with riders and burdens, a lion, and 
finally another mosque surrounded by palm trees. The 
occupier of the house by this means acquaints the passer-by 
with the following facts in his life, which, in his estimation, 
are well worth knowing. " I journeyed from my native 
place with the caravan bound for Mecca. Arrived at Port 
Suez I joined other pilgrims ; in their company I traversed 
unharmed the wilderness which is infested with wild beasts, 
and so accomplished my vow." ! 

But as Europe must yield the pre-eminence in the * f lu ' 
mechanical arts, so here the European systems of writing Egypt - 
are unimportant compared with the hieroglyphs of the 
Assyrian and Egyptian monuments, some of which reach 
back to an immemorial antiquity. 

The all-important question now arises whether the Greeks JJjf OI J e 7 p " 
had passed through this pictographic stage of development, 
The matter turns in a great measure upon the interpretation 
of the much disputed lines in Homer 2 relating to an episode 

1 No races except the Egyptians furnish such interesting records of 
this kind as the North American Redskins. See Brasseur de Bourbourg, 
Popol Vuh : Le Livre Sacrt et les My t ties de I'Antiquitt Amtricainc, 
Paris, 1 86 1 ; Catlin, North American Indians \. 148; Schoolcraft, Indian 
Tribes of the United States; Max Miiller, Chips from a German Work- 
shop i. 313 ; Tylor, Anthropology, 185 ; Lubbock, Origin of Civilization, 

3 The national epics of many countries were for a long time handed 
down by oral transmission. This must have been the case, if not with 
the Iliad and Odyssey themselves, at any rate with the floating traditions 
of which they were composed. Similarly the Vedas were handed down 
from generation to generation by word of mouth. Zimmer, Alt. Lcben, 
p. 347 ; A. Weber, Indische Skizzen, p. 131. So also the Northern 


in the history of Bellerophon. That hero having slain his 
brother fled to the court of Prcetus of Argolis in Peloponnesus. 
Anteia, the wife of his host, fell in love with her guest, and, 
her addresses being unrequited, traduced him to her husband, 
charging him with an attempt on her honour. The latter, 
unwilling to slay Bellerophon with his own hands, which 
would have been a flagrant breach of hospitality, hateful to 
gods and men, sent him to his father-in-law, lobates, a king in 
Lycia, with a view to compassing his destruction : 

7To/3i/ S' o ye crrjfjiara Xvypa, 
ypd\}/a<s iv TTLVO.KL TTTVKTIO Ov[JiO<f>06pa 

Upon the whole it seems probable 2 that the poet is 
alluding to a kind of pictographic writing, the knowledge 
of which would be confined to a few. Traces of its existence 
appeared at Hissarlik and Mycenae, but it is now fully 
made known by the discoveries at Knossos, as a pre- 
Mycenaaan system. A second system of linear character 
seems to have been partly contemporary and partly later. 3 

So much on the earliest forms of pictorial writing. Given 
a knowledge of the manners of those who employ them, the 
interpretation is not very difficult. A Redskin will read off 

Sagas of the Christian era. The power of verbal memory is stronger in 
an ancient stage of civilization, and the invention of writing, while 
relieving the mind, produced an enervating effect on this faculty. 

1 Iliad vi. 168. "And gave him tokens of woe, graving in a folded 
tablet many deadly things." (LANG, LEAF and MYERS, transl.) Three 
points are noteworthy as bearing upon the passage: (i) Homer attributes 
the use of these signs to a time anterior to the Heroic age ; (2) the 
language spoken in Lycia was akin to Greek (Kretschmer, p. 370) ; (3) 
The King of Lycia was descended by race from Crete (Ridgeway, The 
Early Age of Greece, 211). 

2 Cf. Ridgeway, The Early Age of Greece, pp. 209, 210. It is significant 
that ypappa was not used in Homer, and that it was employed (as in 
Herod, v. 58) to denote Phoenician letters. 

3 Dr. A. J. Evans discovered many of these pictograms in the course 
of his recent exploration of the palace at Knossos, in Crete. They 
contained inventories of chariots, horses and ships, and other accounts. 
See Evans, Cretan Pictographs and P re- Phoenician Script, 1895. Also 
an article by the same author in Ann. Brit. Sch. Ath., 1899, 1900, p. 61 ; 
Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece, pp. 140, 141 ; and Ridgeway, 
op. tit., pp. 59,211. 


such warnings or messages with ease. But owing to a 
defective acquaintance many mistakes may be made. 1 Still, 
however well such a system might be suited to a rude state 
of life, it was not elastic enough nor suited to an expanded 
range of ideas, and was particularly inadequate to meet the 
exigencies of the rapid rise of commerce. A new path was 
therefore discovered. Language now became the basis of 
writing. Not satisfied with the invention of phonetic equiva- 
lents for whole words and monosyllables, the Egyptians, 
and apparently others, developed the idea still further, and 
reached the culminating point, namely, a letter system ; and 
this has never undergone any radical change. 2 According to 
the theory above enunciated, English letters bear traces of 
their origin in Egypt. The two prongs in F recall the horns 
of the asp which represented that sound in Egyptian. 
M retains the facial features (the outline of the head, the 
beak and the eyes) of the owl. N has preserved in an 
abbreviated form the zigzag or wavering line which in 
^Egyptian described the rippling waves or running water. 3 

1 The Abb Domenech, in his Manuscrit Pictographique Americain, 
Paris, 1860, was occasionally betrayed into errors through an insufficient 
acquaintance with the customs of the country. 

2 This view was first propounded by De Rouge, Memoire sur Porigine 
egyptienne de V Alphabet Phenicien, 1874, and seems to be supported by 
Dr. Evans' researches. 

3 The reason for the choice of certain objects to represent certain 
sounds was probably due to the selection of a word, the initial letter of 
which best represented the sound. Thus /, from the first letter of laboi, 
" lioness " ; m, from the first letter of mul&c, " owl." 

The systems of measurement and numeration in like manner proceed 
from the concrete to the abstract, and in other respects exhibit a 
development parallel to that of writing, (i) The names of numerals are 
first taken from parts of the body. The Greek ircvrc, Sanskrit pdnca, 
and Latin quinque^ probably recall the hand and five fingers. Cf. 
Persian pendji, pentcha, "hand" (Humbolt, Personal Researches ii., 
p. 115) ; Polish /*Vh So, too, in the Malay language, lima is used for 
" hand " and " five." This supposition is borne out by the fact that the 
Roman numerals represent the fingers used as counters, i., ii., iii., iv. } v., 
and the use of the Greek rci\i-na^tw^ to "count on five fingers," to "count" 
generally (Odyss. iv. 412). It is not improbable that reo-o-aper, " four," 
comes from the root quet^ " conceal " (as in KoruAiJ, KoruAij&ui/) with 
reference to closing the thumb and leaving four fingers visible. The 
Sanskrit vyamd, " stretch out," " six feet " ; Greek opyvta, " fathom " 


Such was the gradual growth of the Egyptian alphabet 
which formed the foundation on which the chief alphabets of 
the world are based. 

nk?ans h as ** rem ains for us to point out the channels by which the 

mediaries. Egyptian alphabet was transmitted. That the Phoenicians 

were the intermediaries who communicated this great gift to 

Europe was the unanimous tradition of the ancient world, 1 

and they took at least a great share in the development 

and diffusion of the alphabet. Of their activities in the 

Mediterranean we have already spoken, and what is known 

T racticai ^ ^ eir occupations and character accords well with the 

Character traditional theory. The Phoenicians were pre-eminently a 

aVhatet. P ract i ca l people. To them writing was a means not an end, 

an instrument for communication with the races with whom 

they had commercial dealings. Antecedently, therefore, it 

might be assumed that they would discard the exuberance 

and multiplicity of the Egyptian hieroglyphs and adopt only 

what was essential to their purpose, namely, the chief 

characteristics of the several symbols. This proves to have 

been the case, and they adopted the hieratic, or running 

hand, which merely contained the outline of the object, 

whether animal or utensil, used in the letter system of the 

original inventors. 

hang * 1 Further, in the hands of the Semitic races the names of 

tiio naincb 

e f tte?sby "* letters were changed. The original animal or object 
Semites. wmcn tne y represented was left out of sight and new names 

(ope'-yo), " stretch out ") ; the Anglo-Saxon faefom, the " extended arms " ; 
English fathom \ French toise (Medieval Latin tesa, from Latin tensa, 
tendo, " stretch "), will readily recur to the reader's mind, as also the 
words " span," viz., from the tip of the thumb to that of the little finger, 
precisely parallel to the Sanskrit mtasti, from root tan and w (Lanman, 
243). So, too, English cubit, hand, nail. (2) They were invented to 
meet the needs of the chief pursuits in the social infancy of races : thus, 
Sanskrit sah&sra, a "thousand," especially a thousand cattle. The 
decimal system was employed in war. See Ch. xxvii., p. 370. (3) 
Abstractions belong to a later period. Eight is two fours (Sanskrit 
ashta, Greek OKTO>, Latin octo}\ nine is the new number (Latin novem, 
novus, " new "). These words betoken an advance in the development of 
the numerical system. 
1 Herod, v. 58 is a locus dassicus on the subject. 


were substituted. 1 In A, originally an eagle, they saw an ox 
or its head, and called it Aleph. In B, which the Egyptians 
had formed after the crane, or some bird which was regarded 
as a symbol of the soul, these Semites saw a house or door 
of a tent, and called it Beth. In C, which had taken its 
shape from a bowl with a loop handle, they saw the figure of 
a camel, and called it Gimel? These names the Greeks 
borrowed, with a slight modification. The introduction of Thein- 
the Phoenician alphabet marked a momentous epoch, and the PHOC- 
the new names have impressed themselves deeply on the 
civilization of the world. Upon this hypothesis the Brahman 
wrote the Vedic hymns, the Moslem the Koran, the Hebrew 
the Old Testament, and the Greek the New, in symbols 
which had their origin in the Egyptian hieroglyphs. 3 Such 
in outline is the traditional view. The debt of Europe to 
the Phoenicians is undoubted and immeasurable. But this 
circumstance is far from precluding the idea that another 
alphabet was evolved independently on the European 

1 Upon this matter, however, opinion is not agreed. Lagarde, Ges. 
Abh. 255, regards the names of the letters as Syrian and not Phoenician, 
and Wellhausen, Einl. ins Alt. Test. 4, p. 630, thinks that they were 
derived from Aramaic ; so Beloch, Griech. Gesch. i. 227. But Schroder 
and others maintain the opposite opinion. The reference to any source 
other than the Phoenicians is vitiated by the fact that 'e/efand delet are 
not Aramaic. They must therefore have been adopted from Phoenician 
in the first instance. See Lewy, Die semit. Fremdworter, 169 ; and 
Schlottmann, in Riehm, Handworterbuch, d. bibl. Alt. ii. I43OA. 

2 It had the sound of a k or g. 

3 The history of the art of writing in India presents an interesting 
parallel to the case of Greece. Like the Greeks, presumably the Indians 
owed their letter system to the Phoenicians, and perhaps they adopted it 
about the same time. At any rate, it was known in the third century B.C. 
Biihler, Grundriss der indo-arischen Philologie und Altertumskunde i. 
11,8, pp. 17, 121 ; Tiele, Geschiedenis van den Godsdienst, 76. Like the 
Greeks, they acquired the art gradually. It was a rare accomplishment 
in the Homeric age (ninth-eighth centuries). Homer does not use words 
for book (/3/0Xor), or letter (ypa/x/za), or reading (dvayvuvai). Similarly 
in India the art was long confined to the Brahmans. Nearchus, ^25 B.C., 
and Megasthenes, 300 B.C., state that the Indians did not write their 
laws, but they wrote letters on cotton. Tiele, Geschiedenis, 76 ; Kaegi, 
Der Rigveda, 76 ; Zimmer, Altindisches Leben, p. 347. In Servian the 
epithet j*/i, " fine," " elaborate," is applied to handwriting. Throughout 
the poetry of the Serbs the art of writing is spoken of with wonder and 
deference. Cf. O. Meredith, Serbski pesme, p. 65. 


continent. Antecedently, it would appear probable that such 
should be the case, and several facts have been disclosed 
which lend colour to this view. It is now known that the 
signs used in Egypt about 2500 B.C. were independent of the 
hieroglyphic system. It is also known that this system of 
signs extended to the Mediterranean about 2000 B.C. But 
there is positive proof of the existence of Greek alphabets at 
an early period, and that these were afterwards systematized. 
When finally the Greeks adopted the Phoenician signs they 
retained four of their own, T, X, <, and M*, and placed them 
at the end of the new series which, as we have seen, were 
imported from the East. 1 

The greatest interest in this connection attaches to the 
discoveries discoveries made by Dr. A. T. Evans in Crete. Not only 

in Crete. ... . J 

were clay documents, with pictograms inscribed upon them, 
unearthed in the Palace of Knossos, to which allusion has 
already been made, 2 but a linear style of writing has been 
brought to light which is at once of an original character, 
shows a high development, and is some centuries older than 
the earliest Phoenician writing. The precise significance of 
these finds cannot as yet be definitely determined ; the 
meanings of the signs have yet to be deciphered, and the 
racial influences that they betray to be finally decided. 

1 Moreover, it confirms the tradition mentioned by Diodorus Siculus iii. 
67, i, which attributed the invention of writing to Palamedes, a state- 
ment which until recently has been viewed with scepticism. The name 
generally given to the imported alphabet was Phoenician, from the place 
of its origin. But there was another, known as the Pelasgian characters. 

' 2 Cf. ch. v., pp. 59-61. The reader is referred to the author's own 
writings : Evans, Cretan Pictographs and Pre-Ph&nician Script, London, 
1895; an< l Further Discoveries of Cretan and sEgean Script, London, 



THE chief luminary of the Western Church, St. Augustine Absence of 
of Hippo, laments with a show of reason the absence of a 
term in Latin to express the relations between man and his 
Maker. 1 A teacher of rhetoric in his earlier days and always 
a skilled writer, Augustine himself, in spite of Kenan's 
strictures upon his style, must be admitted to have done 
much in adapting the Latin language to the use of the 
Christian Faith. Still, the Roman word religio remains in 
use to this day in the Christian Church, employed, like 
several other words and customs adopted from paganism, 
with a new connotation, a deeper meaning, and a wider 
range. Its original signification affords striking testimony 
to the Roman idea of religion. St. Augustine 2 and other 
authors trace the term to religare, "to bind," as implying 
an obligation. But it should in all probability be connected 
with relegere in the sense of anxious and careful pondering. 3 
Its primary meaning, however, would appear to be " scruple " 
and "scrupulousness"; 4 and so far was the early Roman 

1 Retract, i. 13 ; De Ver. Re I. 55. 

- Ibid. St. Augustine often erred in his etymological explanations. 
But cf. Serv. on AZneid viii. 349 ; Lactantius iv. 28 ; Lucret. i. 931 ; 
iv. 7. This interpretation certainly expresses the tie which, in the opinion 
of the Roman, bound him to perform religious observances. 

3 Cf. religens, " revering the gods," " pious," which occurs in Cell. iv. 
9, i. The opposite would be neglegere> to be "negligent," " indifferent." 

4 Cf. religiosus, "scrupulous." So in Greek /0v/Aios (i) "taken to 
heart" (Odyss. xiii. 421 ; Herod, viii. 54), applied to a matter that lies 
heavy on the soul; (2) "scruple" (TJntc. vii. 50). 


removed from the Christian conception of religion that a 

typical representative of the race, like Cicero, writing at a 

time when religious institutions were settled and established, 

could define religio, as follows : religio est quae superioris 

cuiusdam naturae, quam divinam vocant, curam caerimoni- 

^rhe amque offert. 1 For Roman worship, though to all intents 

Roman and purposes it resolved itself into the due discharge of 

religion. . 

ceremonies and observances, was eminently practical in its 
character. 2 The protecting spirits of which Italy was so 
prolific were supposed to address themselves to furthering 
some practical end, whether domestic, social, warlike or 
agricultural. Many of them were regarded simply as 
magical means, almost on a level with the fetish of an 
African negro, by which some practical object might be 
attained. That is not all. The Roman, whose genius was 
marked by a reverence for law and by a keen appreciation of 
the majesty of order, carried the same spirit into this 
department of thought also. For his religion was inter- 
woven with the social structure and political institutions of 
his country. What he thought great in the natural order 
gained greatness in addition by its elevation into the super- 
natural. The result was that the Roman religion was not 
calculated to bring the emotions into play and to inspire 
enthusiasm, but was dry and formal. 

But the Saint and Doctor of the African Church might 
have included the Greek language in his complaint concern- 
No Greek m * ne inadequacy of the ancient terminology to express the 
c re/?on.'' relations between the human and the divine. For neither 
was Classical Greek rich in theological terms. Ewreeia and 
kindred words, indeed, meant "reverence to the gods," 
"piety," "duty," but like the Latin/zVto they meant equally 
" filial regard," and like religio they especially implied the 
faithful fulfilment of sacred obligations ; yet evaefteia was 
probably the nearest approach in Greek to the modern 

1 De Invent, ii. 53. " Religion is that which occasions a regard and 
reverence for a higher nature called divine." Cf. Schrader, Reallex. 683. 

2 Cicero, De Nat. ii, 28, 72. 


sense of religion. Asicr&aiiwvia was another expression 
which covered part but not the whole of the meaning of 
religion in its modern acceptation. 1 It signified "fear of the 
gods," and was often used in the bad sense of superstition. 
There are reasons for thinking that the word Saifjuov, the 
main element in &ei(riSaifj,ovia, in the first instance called up 
invidious associations ; indeed, originally it may have meant 
no more than ghost. So the Greek language, for all its 
fertility of resource and elasticity, contained no term which 
adequately expressed the relations that existed between the 
creature and the Creator. The legitimate deduction from 
the barrenness of the theological terminology, exhibited by 
Classical Greek and Latin to the very last, is that the thing 
itself was either absent or at all events indeterminate. If so 
much uncertainty prevailed in regard to the later stages in 
the history of the Greek and Roman religions, when they 
had accomplished their full range and fulfilled their scope, 
it stands to reason that this indefiniteness would in earlier 
epochs be even more marked. In fact, in those early days 
there was no religion in the strict sense of the word. It is 
true that here and there evidences appear of a deep-seated 
feeling of a dependence on supernatural aid, and of an awaken- 
ing consciousness of the necessity of belief in a Supreme 
Power all-wise, all-powerful. But such stray sentiments as 
these, which are scattered throughout the early literature 
of Greece, are enveloped in a cloud of fable and smothered 
by the luxuriance of mythological fancies. Still, the 
superstitious observances which occupied the minds of 
Greek and Roman, the conviction that the gods commanded 
consideration and required the performance of certain 
ceremonies at the hands of men, but especially demanded 
propitiation, the punctilious attention bestowed in Greece 
and Italy upon the objects of worship, these facts afford trust- 
worthy testimony that they were not oblivious of the subject. 

1 The character of the 80-i8ai>a>i/ is analysed by Theophrastus, 
Char. 1 6. Nicias, as portrayed by Thucydides in vii. 50, 77, 86, affords 
an illustration of this temperament. 


The The source of Greek and Italian religion has been 

Greek e lnd generally sought in naturalism, i.e. worship of the nature 
Jeiigton. powers. Unquestionably the Aryan religion rested upon this 
basis, as witness (to name a few) the accounts given of the 
Persians 1 by Herodotus and the Germans by Caesar. 2 But 
though naturalism was doubtless the original fountain from 
which both religions proceeded, so far as they lie within the 
Ancestor range of investigation, yet it appears probable that ancestor 
worship was another source, tributary to the former, and 
that in course of time the two streams became so blended 
together as to be undistinguished and flow together un- 
interrupted. Accordingly ancestor worship has been claimed 
as the origin of myth and religion ; 3 and there can be no 
question that the superstitions of savages at all events 
have been largely influenced by the worship of ancestors, 
and perhaps originated in this way. But among other 
considerations which militate against this view may be 
mentioned the comparatively late acknowledgment of the 
idea of kinship, without which there would be no recognition 
of any ancestors who would claim divine honours. The 
Natural- case has been stated clearly by a well-known writer : 4 
" Nature is bigger than man, and this he was not slow to 
feel. Even if it be conceded that sun-myth and sun-worship 
once arose through the nicknaming of an ancestor as the 
Sun, we must take into account the force of that imagination 
which enabled the unconscious myth-maker or creed-maker 
to credit the moving orbs of heaven with personal life and 
will. The faculty which could do that might well express 
itself in awestruck form without intruding the ancestral 
ghost." The truth is, it is impossible to assign the origin 
of savage superstitions to one cause only. Rather, they 
arise from a vague wonder at phenomena which cannot be 
measured and baffle the comprehension of the man who has 
not advanced beyond a barbarous or semi-barbarous state. 

1 i. 131. 2 vi. 21. 

3 Of. Ch.Vii. 74. 

4 Clodd, Myths and Dreams, p. 113. 


He looks at nature through a distorting medium. He is Feelings of 
constantly exposed to a fear of evil and constantly striving * 
after blessings which he cannot obtain unaided. He contem- 
plates Nature as animate, regards all natural objects as 
endowed with intelligence, and extends to them his own im- 
plicit consciousness of personality. Everything that exhibits 
power, movement or fertility, as he supposes, is the work of 
some being dressed up by his fear or fancy according to the 
circumstances in which he lives, and coloured by the aspect 
of his natural surroundings. But sometimes the display of 
force in the processes of nature that come under his obser- 
vation transcends the power of any man or beast imaginable. 
The savage therefore cannot ascribe it to the operation of 
any such living being as this. He therefore accounts by the 
rules of savage logic for the force and continuance of these 
phenomena by attributing them to the agency of a nature- 
daemon, more powerful, more permanent than man or beast. 
But the mystery does not terminate there. He is equally 
perplexed by his own individual experiences and those of his 
fellows, in sickness, dreams and death. These likewise he 
ascribes to the operation of* preternatural beings. But the 
claims of naturalism and ancestor worship respectively to 
priority must remain undecided, and confessedly much 
uncertainty envelops the whole subject of the origin of 
religions. Epochs are not really so abrupt as they seem to 
be in human history ; they are still less so during the earliest 
stages of the existence of mankind. It is therefore idle to 
speculate, and \ve can never hope to arrive at a satisfactory 
solution of the problem. Although it is impossible to 
identify the constituent causes of primitive religion, it is 
possible to fix with tolerable exactitude the different strata, 
if not to follow the succession of stages, in the religious 
history of the Greek and Italic races. 

Under the earliest form of religion which is at present The first 
discoverable, as we have already seen, lies a depth which, 
apart from Divine Revelation, we cannot hope to fathom. 
Leaving out of sight, therefore, the faint traces of more 


ancient elements, the crudest and probably the earliest form 

is animism. It is now represented by the so-called nature 

religions, or the magic tribal religions in which polydaemonism 

its prevails. The fact is, animism, strictly speaking, is not 

character ... ' *.- i5i i i t_ 

itself a religion, but a kind of primitive philosophy, which 
guides and governs the whole life of natural races. To adopt